John Masefield

(1 June 1878 – 12 May 1967 / Herefordshire / England)

Quotations

  • ''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.''
    John Masefield (1874-1967), British poet, playwright. "Sea Fever," st. 2, Salt-Water Ballads (1902). The line appears as "I must go down to the seas again ... " in some collections, and in John Ireland's musical setting of the poem; though apparently not in Masefield's drafts, nor in the first published version.
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  • ''Commonplace people dislike tragedy because they dare not suffer and cannot exult.''
    John Masefield (1874-1967), British poet, playwright. The Tragedy of Nan, preface (1908).

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Night Is On The Downland

Night is on the downland, on the lonely moorland,
On the hills where the wind goes over sheep-bitten turf,
Where the bent grass beats upon the unplowed poorland
And the pine-woods roar like the surf.

Here the Roman lived on the wind-barren lonely,
Dark now and haunted by the moorland fowl;
None comes here now but the peewit only,
And moth-like death in the owl.

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