I know it is utterly and probably crazy, even a bit twisted, or perhaps beyond any comprehension whatsoever to most of you, but harbors and marinas have always made me yearn for the seas. They “refresh” me regardless of what’s in dock (you’ll see fish guts later on… meaning at the rate I’m posting images from last year’s AK trip, it might be in a somewhat far future though. Hang on; I’ll get there!). Anyway, I learned this 1902 poem in 4th grade**, and it’s etched in my memory forever. Here’s to you John Masefield, wherever you are – hopefully being steered by a star in a tall ship!!
I must 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 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 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.
** NOTE – the true original 1902 poem read, “I must down to the seas again…” There was no “I must go down” as is shown in recent versions!!!