John Masefield

J
John Masefield
The Builders
Before the unseen cock had called the time,
Those workers left their beds and stumbled out
Into the street, where dust lay white as lime
Under the last star that keeps bats about.
Then blinking still from bed, they trod the street,
The doors closed up and down ; the traveller heard
Doors opened, closed, then silence, then men’s feet
Moving to toil, the men too drowsed for word.
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The Haunted
Here, in this darkened room of this old house,
I sit beside the fire. I hear again,
Within, the scutter where the mice carouse,
Without, the gutter dropping with the rain.
Opposite, are black shelves of wormy books,
To left, glazed cases, dusty with the same,
Behind, a wall, with rusty guns on hooks,
To right, the fire, that chokes one panting flame.
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The Racer
I saw the racer coming to the jump,
Staring with fiery eyeballs as he rusht,
I heard the blood within his body thump,
I saw him launch, I heard the toppings crusht.
And as he landed I beheld his soul
Kindle, because, in front, he saw the Straight
With all its thousands roaring at the goal,
He laughed, he took the moment for his mate.
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The Ship and Her Makers
THE ORE

Before Man’s labouring wisdom gave me birth
I had not even seen the light of day;
Down in the central darkness of the earth,
Crushed by the weight of continents I lay,
Ground by the weight to heat, not knowing then
The air, the light, the noise, the world of men.

THE TREES
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Sea-Fever
I 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.
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