by John Masefield (1878 - 1967)

I must go down to the seas again, to the...
Language: English 
I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sail's shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea's face and a grey dawn breaking.

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume and the seagulls crying.

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull's way and the whale's way where the wind's like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry [yarn]1 from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over.

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Note: first published in Speaker (Feb. 1902)
1 Ireland: "tale"

Authorship

Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)


Researcher for this text: Ted Perry

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 12
Word count: 161