Sea Fever

By John Masefield 1878–1967 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.

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Poet John Masefield 1878–1967

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Georgian

Subjects Nature, Seas, Rivers, & Streams

 John  Masefield

Biography

British poet John Edward Masefield was born in Herefordshire. He studied at King’s School in Warwick before training as a merchant seaman. In 1895, he deserted his ship in New York City and worked there in a carpet factory before returning to London to write poems describing his experience at sea. Masefield was appointed British poet laureate in 1930.

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Nature, Seas, Rivers, & Streams

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Georgian

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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