John Masefield Poems

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John Masefield
John Edward Masefield, OM, (1 June 1878 – 12 May 1967), was an English poet and writer, and Poet Laureate from 1930 until his death in 1967. He is remembered as the author of the classic children's novels The Midnight Folk and The Box of Delights, two novels "Captain Margaret" and "Multitude and Solitude" and a great deal of memorable poetry, including "The Everlasting Mercy", and "Sea-Fever", from his anthology Saltwater Ballads. Masefield was born in Ledbury, in Herefordshire, a rural area in England. His mother died at giving birth to his brother when Masefield was only 6 and he went to live with his aunt. His father died soon after. After an unhappy education at the King's School in Warwick (now known as Warwick School), where he was a boarder between 1888 and 1891, he left to board the HMS Conway, both to train for a life at sea, and to break his addiction to reading, of which his Aunt thought little. He spent several years aboard this ship and found that he could spend much of his time reading and writing. It was aboard the Conway that Masefield’s love for story-telling grew. While on the ship, he listened to the stories told about sea lore. He continued to read, and felt that he was to become a writer and story teller himself.

the rider at the gate
A windy night was blowing on Rome,
The cressets guttered on Caesar's home,
The fish-boats,... [read poem]
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