Sea Fever, John Masefield
Moby Dick (excerpts from Chapter 1), Herman Melville
Maggie and Millie and Molly and May, EE Cummings
A Perfumed Wind, Judah Halevi
Exultation is the Going, Emily Dickinson
At Blackwater Pond, Mary Oliver
The Bridge, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (excerpts)
O’l Man River, Oscar Hammerstein
Waterfall at Lu-shan, Li Po
Crossing The Bar, Alfred, Lord Tennyson
The True Love, David Whyte
Octopus’ Garden, Richard Starkey

*                      *                      *

To The Harbormaster, Frank O’Hara
Clay Jars, Yehuda Amichai
Spirit Song Over The Waters, Goethe
Nothing in the World, Lao Tzu



Sea Fever
by John Masefield

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.

I must go 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 go 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.


Moby Dick (excerpts from Chapter 1)
by Herman Melvin

Call me Ishmael. Some years ago — never mind how long precisely –
having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to
interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the
watery part of the world . . . . Whenever I find myself growing grim
about the mouth, whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul
. . . I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can.

There now is your insular city of the Manhattoes, belted
round by wharves . . . . Right and left, the streets take
you waterward. Its extreme downtown is the battery . . .
washed by waves, and cooled by breezes which a few
hours previous were out of sight of land. Look at the
crowds of water-gazers there.

Circumambulate the city of a dreamy Sabbath afternoon . . . .
What do you see? Posted like silent sentinels all around the
town, stand thousands upon thousands of mortal men fixed in
ocean reveries . . . .

Strange! Nothing will content them but the extremest limit of
the land; loitering under the shady lee of yonder warehouses
will not suffice. No. They must get just as nigh the water as
they possibly can without falling. And there they stand —
miles of them — leagues. Inlanders all, they come from lanes
and alleys, streets, avenues — north, east, south, and west.
Yet here they all unite. Tell me, does the magnetic virtue of
the needles of the compasses of all those ships attract them

Once more. Say you are in the country; in some high land of
lakes. Take almost any path you please, and ten to one it
carries you down in a dale, and leaves you there by a pool in
the stream. There is magic in it . . . .

Yes, as every one knows, meditation and water are wedded for ever . . . .


Maggie and Millie and Molly and May
by EE Cummings

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A Perfumed Wind
by Judah Halevi

This wind of yours is a perfumed wind, o West.
with saffron in its wings, and apple scent,
as if it came from the perfumer’s chest,
not from the chest of the winds.

The winds of swallows flutter to your breath.
You set them free,
like myrrh-tears, from a bundle poured.
And how we long for you, we who ride a wooden board
on the back of the sea!

Never release your grip from the ship
when the day makes its camp, when the day blows away.
Flatten the deep, rip the heart
of the seas, hit the holy mountains
and there take your rest,
O wind of the west!
Shout down the east wind when it makes
the ocean break and creates
a seething pot in the heart of the sea.

What can a man, God’s captive, achieve,
who is sometimes shut in and sometimes let free?
All my desire I entrust to Him,
Who shaped the mountains, Who made the wind,
Who knows man’s heart and its mysteries.


Exultation is the Going
by Emily Dickinson

Exultation is the going
Of an inland soul to sea,
Past the houses — past the headlands —
Into deep Eternity —

Bred as we, among the mountains,
Can the sailor understand
The divine intoxication
Of the first league out from land?


At Blackwater Pond
by Mary Oliver

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The Bridge (excerpts)
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I stood on the bridge at midnight,
As the clocks were striking the hour,
And the moon rose o’er the city,
Behind the dark church-tower.

I saw her bright reflection
In the waters under me,
Like a golden goblet falling
And sinking into the sea . . .

Among the long, black rafters
The wavering shadows lay,
And the current that came from the ocean
Seemed to lift and bear them away;

As, sweeping and eddying through them,
Rose the belated tide,
And, streaming into the moonlight,
The seaweed floated wide.

And like those waters rushing
Among the wooden piers,
A flood of thoughts came o’er me
That filled my eyes with tears.

How often, O, how often,
In the days that had gone by,
I had stood on that bridge at midnight
And gazed on that wave and sky!

How often, O, how often,
I had wished that the ebbing tide
Would bear me away on its bosom
O’er the ocean wild and wide!

For my heart was hot and restless,
And my life was full of care,
And the burden laid upon me
Seemed greater than I could bear.

But now it has fallen from me,
It is buried in the sea;
And only the sorrow of others
Throws its shadow over me.

Yet whenever I cross the river
On its bridge with wooden piers,
Like the odor of brine from the ocean
Comes the thought of other years.

And I think how many thousands
Of care-encumbered men,
Each bearing his burden of sorrow,
Have crossed the bridge since then.

I see the long procession
Still passing to and fro,
The young heart hot and restless,
And the old subdued and slow!

And forever and forever,
As long as the river flows,
As long as the heart has passions,
As long as life has woes;

The moon and its broken reflection
And its shadows shall appear,
As the symbol of love in heaven,
And its wavering image here.


O’l Man River
by Oscar Hammerstein

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Waterfall at Lu-shan
by Li Po

Sunlight streams on the river stones.
From high above, the river steadily plunges —

Three thousand feet of sparkling water —
The Milky Way pouring down from heaven.


Crossing The Bar
by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,

But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.

Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark;
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;

For tho’ from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face,
When I have crost the bar.


The True Love
by David Whyte

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Octopus’ Garden
by Richard Starkey

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