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    Sea fever
    From: George Huxtable
    Date: 2009 Sep 1, 14:01 +0100

    I am not of a romantic disposition, as my wife sometimes reminds me.
    
    And most poetry does little for me, with a few significant exceptions.
    
    Nor am I all that keen on songs, and singing, in general.
    
    However, I've just been hearing, on the radio, from the Edinburgh Festival,
    Bryn Terfel singing John Masefield's  "Sea Fever", in  John Ireland's
    familiar setting. It got me thinking: didn't Masefield get it exactly right?
    
    Masefield had himself been a mariner, in square rig. His voyaging, across
    the oceans in all weathers, was a different matter to my own puny coastal
    small-boat cruising. I'm now at the age where I've got that sea fever out of
    my blood, to a large extent. But I know exactly what Masefield was on about.
    
    To remind you, here's what he wrote-
    
      "Sea-Fever"
    
      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.
    
    contact George Huxtable, at  george@hux.me.uk
    or at +44 1865 820222 (from UK, 01865 820222)
    or at 1 Sandy Lane, Southmoor, Abingdon, Oxon OX13 5HX, UK.
    
    
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