One of the Nation’s favourite poems this month plus two variations:
by John Masefield
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.
by G F Bradby. 1863-1947. (with apologies to John Masefield 1878-1967)
I must go back to a vest again, to a winter vest with sleeves,
And all I ask is an honest shop where the shop-men are not thieves;
And a fair price, and a free choice, and a full stretch for dining,
And a smooth touch on the bare chest, and a smooth inner lining.
I must go back to a vest again, for that which most I dread
Is a bad cold, a head cold, and a day or more in bed;
And all I ask is a friend’s advice, and a short time for thinking,
A soft wool, and a man’s size, and a good bit for shrinking.
I must go back to a vest again, for the April winds are bleak,
And the spring’s way is a cold way, and my circulation weak;
And all I ask, when the cash is paid and we leave the shop together,
Is a warm fire and an armchair, or a change in the weather.
and finally by Spike Milligan
I must go down to the sea again
to the lonely sea and the sky
I left my shoes and socks there –
I wonder if they’re dry?