John Masefield (1878-1967)
Sea FeverI 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.
Big Pond QuinsyI must go down and all I ask is a tall ship and a star I must go back to what’s briny, just big sky and a briny splat, And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to point it at, A hub swinging round, a wind-humming sound, and a snowy sailcloth shaking, A briny phiz that’s hazily gray, and a gray dawn waking. I must go back to what’s briny, for that calling of flux and flow Is a wild call and a loud call, to which you don’t say no; And all I ask is a windy day with cotton-wool clouds flying, With flung spray and with blown foam, and gulls and fulmars crying. I must go back to what’s briny, now! to my vagrant gypsy way, sir, To a gull’s way and an orca’s way, and a wind as sharp as a razor; And all I ask is a jolly yarn from a laughing amigo-in-roving, And a tranquil nap with visions of pap, as my shiftwork clock stops moving.
Translation: Copyright © Timothy Adès