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Sea Fever - John Masefield
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 sea-gulls 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 from a laughing fellow-rover, And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.
John Masefield (1878-1967) was English Poet Laureate from 1930 to 1967. He published Sea Fever in 1902. Masefield wrote - "I must down to the seas again …" but generations have now come to say - "I must go down to the seas again …" I have used the latter, and more familiar, wording so that they poem may be sung to this music.