Works in the Herald 1930

All lovers of true literature hail with delight the appointment of John Masefield as Poet Laureate.

Not in the study groping 'mid the fog
   Of others' thinking, striving to express --
To vie with pundit and with pedagogue --
   The passing moods of futile cleverness;
But out into the world of common men,
   With a child's questing heart and mind went you,
A voyager, to capture once again
   The old, old truths that are for ever new.

"I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky ..."
And a new song and a sweet song came wafting by and by
From a great heart, and a full heart, as only genius sings
Of the wide world and rough men and the charm of common things.

Not with the doctors and the saints at war
   Where erudition tangles fact and phrase;
But out again to seek the olden lore
   That men have ever sought in olden days:
Have sought and sung the tardy ages round;
   Have sought, and failed; yet in the failing see
A glimpse of all the mystery profound
   That lies half hidden, in simplicity.

"It's a warm wind, the west wind, full of birds' cries ..."
But 'tis the poet's song that brings the quick tears to our eyes --
A song that echoes in the heart, a simple song and rare
Of rough men, and daffodils, and beauty everywhere.

Herald, 13 May 1930, p6

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2004