"All of life is material for his seeing eye and his thinking heart,
as he makes the wonderful familiar and the familiar wonderful "
CECURE in a high place in the ranks of English writers,
^ John Masefield has attained that enviable position through
various means. He is distinguished not alone as a poet, but
also as dramatist, historian, novelist, and writer of short stories.
But it is as a poet, and particularly as a narrative poet, that
he gained his first and perhaps most lasting fame.
John Masefield was born in Ledbury, Herefordshire, on
June 1, 1878. Both his father and mother died while he was
still a young boy, and with the other Masefield children he went
to live at the home of an aunt in Ledbury. Here he grew up,
attending the local school. While still a young boy he evinced
a strong proclivity for adventure. Tramping the countryside
and roaming the woods appealed to him more than studying
indoors. In an endeavor to curb his venturesome spirit he was
indentured, when fourteen years of age, to a merchant ship.
Then began the experiences that so vividly burned themselves
into the memory of the restless, sensitive youth. For several
years he sailed the sea to many parts of the world, visiting
strange lands, always storing up impressions that later were to
help him on his way to fame.
The desire to write had always been with him. When ten
years old he had read Sir Walter Scott's poems and Percy's
Reliques of Ancient Poetry, and at fourteen was deep in
Macaulay's Lays of Ancient Rome. These became his favor-
ite poems, and he wrote some imitations of them. During his
time at sea he had little opportunity to read or write, so he left
the service when not yet seventeen years old, and in April, 1895,
landed in New York, with five dollars, his clothes, and a deep
yearning for a literary career. Soon he was domiciled in a garret
in Greenwich Village, subsisting on the fare provided through
his meagre earnings in any odd jobs he could secure. Among
these were work in a bakery, 'a livery stable, along the water-
front, and the widely celebrated term of a few months in a saloon
near Jefferson Market.
A chance acquaintance with the owner of a carpet factory
in Yonkers, New York, led to a position there, and the next
two years were happy ones, as they gave security from want
and time for reading. A book shop in the town was a favored
haunt of his, and every Friday, which was pay day, he bought
new books. In speaking of this period he has said, "I did not
begin to read poetry with passion and system until 1896. I was
living then in Yonkers, New York (at 8 Maple Street).
Chaucer was the poet, and the Parliament of Fowls the
poem of my conversion. I read the Parliament all through one
Sunday afternoon, with the feeling that I had been kept out of
my inheritance and had suddenly entered upon it, and had found
it a new world of wonder and delight. I had never realized,
until then, what poetry could be. After that Sunday afternoon
I read many poets (Chaucer, Keats, Shelley, Milton, and
Shakespeare, more than others) and wrote many imitations of
them. About a year later, when I was living in London, I
wrote two or three of the verses now printed in SALT WATER
Masefield's intimate association with sailors and longshore-
men had given him a deep insight into their lives, and it was
as their laureate that he began his career of letters. SALT WATER
BALLADS opens with a "A Consecration," in which he announces
himself as champion of "the dust and the scum of the earth."
"Theirs be the music, the colour, the glory, the gold,
Mine be a handful of ashes, a mouthful of mould
Of the maimed, of the halt and the blind in the rain and the
Of these shall my songs be fashioned, my tales be told."
Some of the poems in this book are now known the world
over especially "Cargoes" and the oft-quoted "Sea-Fever."
"I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by."
SALT WATER BALLADS was published in England in 1902.
Several years' strenuous apprenticeship in literary London had
preceded its appearance. The book won him his first recogni-
tion. Its unusual quality was praised by leading writers, partic-
ularly among the modernist group.
A summer in Devonshire with William Butler Yeats gave
him encouragement and inspiration. Soon he was publishing
verse and plays that brought him into favor. In 1903 he
married Constance de la Cherois-Crommelin.
His first book of prose, A MAINSAIL HAUL, appeared in
1905. This, is a collection of dramatic tales of ships and
sailors and strange superstitions. "Roistering, reckless rogues
swagger in picturesque procession across the pages of John
Masefield's A MAINSAIL HAUL. Incorporated in these tales
is everything of fear
and fascination that
men have found in
the sea since the sail-
ing of ships began,"
wrote the reviewer
in the Toledo Blade
when the book was
reissued in 1925.
In the same year
was published his
SEA LIFE IN NEL-
SON'S TIME, an his-
torical account of
the rigorous days in
the British Navy
during the latter
years of Nelson's
ing the ships of the
From "Sea Life in Nelson's Time"
period add to the value of the book. This was followed by
ON THE SPANISH MAIN or SOME ENGLISH FORAYS ON THE
ISTHMUS OF DARIEN, which tells of stirring exploits of British
seamen under Drake. For some years these books were not
available in the United States, but recently a supply was im-
ported, and the books were warmly welcomed by the reviewers
and the collectors of Masefield's writings. He spent many
months of intensive research in British maritime history before
writing these books.
CAPTAIN MARGARET (1908), Masefield's first novel, found
wide favor. The poetical quality which distinguishes his prose
gives a sustained magnificence throughout this book. The story
tells of Charles Margaret, a gallant English gentleman and
poet, owner of the sloop Broken Heart so named from his
disappointment in love and the thrilling adventures encoun-
tered after sheltering his lost love and her criminal husband
on board his boat.
In 1909 came MULTITUDE AND SOLITUDE, another novel
of rich and beautiful prose. "London was about to take its
hour of quiet. Only the poets, the scholars, and the idlers were
awake now. In a little while the May dawn would begin.
Even now it was tingeing the cherry blossoms of Aleppo. The
roses of Sarvistan were spilling in the heat, the blades of green
corn by Troy gleamed above the river as the wind shook them."
And again "Pink cranes stood in the shallows. Slowly one of
them rose aloft, heartily flagging. Another arose, then another,
till they made a pinkish ribbon against the forest." From
London to Africa we follow the hero in his search for a cure
for sleeping sickness. Weird experiences are encountered.
Masefield's description in this book of a tropical storm has been
acclaimed as one of the most thrilling in all literature.
Several tales of adventure followed, among them LOST
ENDEAVOR (1909), which recounts romantic deeds in far-away
lands, of the sea and buccaneers along the Spanish Main.
At this time he was also experimenting with the drama,
and in 1909 THE TRAGEDY OF NAN, a poignant, powerful play
in three acts, was published. Many critics have agreed that
this is a masterpiece. It is an intense portrayal of tragic events
in the life of simple country folk, and has been successfully
performed in England. In his preface to the play Masefield
says: "Tragedy at its best is a vision of the heart of life. The
heart of life can only be laid bare in the agony and exultation
of dreadful acts. The vision of agony or spiritual contest pushed
beyond the limits of the dying personality is exalting and cleans-
ing. It is only by such vision that a multitude can be brought
to the passionate knowledge of things exulting and eternal."
THE CAMPDEN WONDER and MRS. HARRISON, sombre trage-
dies of a gruesome nature; THE SWEEPS OF NINETY EIGHT, a
little rebel comedy; and THE LOCKED CHEST, favorite one-act
plays for amateur productions, were written and performed at
In 1910 THE TRAGEDY OF POMPEY THE GREAT appeared.
Tense in situation and impressive in its poetry, it conveys
Masefield's genius in the handling of the dramatic form. "He
is no statutesque Pompey, spouting prose lines masquerading as
poetry; Masefield has given us Pompey the man," wrote a
But it was in 1911 that John Masefield startled England
and occasioned intense excitement and hot discussion over his
now world-famous poem, THE EVERLASTING MERCY. Telling
of this event, W. H. Hamilton, in his critical study of John
Masefield, writes: "I shall never forget the torrid day in 1911
when I languidly picked up a blue-covered copy of the English
Review in a smoker-room, sank with it into a basket-chair, lit
my pipe, leisurely opened the magazine, and got one of the
shocks and surprises of my life. . . . The 'room was sudden
with horror.' At first we gasped 'Oh! What blasphemy! What
indecency! Phew!' Then, dazed and unbelieving, one read
the poem again and again and again. It began to dawn on
us ... that here was one more of the world's great, sudden
original poems and one of the greatest religious poems ever
born." Vivid and powerful, written in virile, at times lurid,
language, THE EVERLASTING MERCY tells the story of Saul
Kane, drunkard and poacher, his spiritual revolt and final con-
version. Recalling the inception of the poem, Masefield said :
"THE EVERLASTING MERCY began to form images in my mind
early in the morning of a fine day in May, 1911. I had risen
very early and had gone out into the morning with a friend who
had to ride to catch a train some miles away. On our way
down a lane in the freshness and brightness of the dew we saw
coming towards us, up a slope in a field close to us, a plough
team of noble horses followed by the advancing breaking wave
of red clay thrust aside by the share. The ploughman was like
Piers Plowman or Chaucer's ploughman, a staid, elderly, honest,
and most kindly man whom we had long known and respected.
The beauty and nobility of this sight moved me profoundly all
day long." That night he began the poem. It marked a rebel-
lion from the contemporary spiritless poetry, and it won for
Masefield the Edmond de Polignac prize of five hundred pounds
and world-wide recognition. It was his first book to be pub-
lished in America.
Closely following THE EVERLASTING MERCY came THE
WIDOW IN THE BYE STREET, written in much the same icono-
clastic manner. It tells a tragic tale of Widow Gurney, whose
son, Jimmy, is hanged for murder, causing her to lose her reason.
Of these two remarkable poems Masefield tells us: "In THE
EVERLASTING MERCY a violent man is made happy; in THE
WIDOW IN THE BYE STREET a good woman is made unhappy.
In neither case does the event fall by merit or demerit, but by
the workings of Fate, which come into human affairs with the
effect of justice done, for reasons not apparent to us."
In 1913 he again aroused the enthusiasm and acclaim of the
critics. This time with DAUBER that magnificent "spiritual
vision of life." '' 'Dauber' is a great poem. Great because of its
pictures of the storm, the sea-night, the ship entering the calm
bay at day-dawn. But great also as a book of revelation; as a
book of intense, terrible, pitiful heroic vision; as a sensitive
record of the sea, full of the bright face of danger, the endurance
of ships, the endurance of men." The poem tells of a painter
whose heart's desire is to portray the sea as it really is.
"It's not been done, the sea, not yet been done,
From the inside by one who really knows
I'd give up all if I could be the one."
A fall from the masthead kills him before he fulfills his
mission. Masefield tells us that the poem is based on fact, and
"Thinking of him after many years, he seems to me to be typical
of the artist, who in every age will obey the laws of his being
and speak his message, in spite of every disadvantage, and in
contempt of death." This poem, his famous "Biography," and
other favorite verses were published in the United States in the
volume THE STORY OF A ROUND HOUSE.
THE DAFFODIL FIELDS, his next long narrative poem, re-
counts a story of the tragic love of two men for the same woman.
There are pages of particularly beautiful descriptions of the
English countryside. "It always seems to me a most moving
thing that natural beauty, the running water, the coming of the
flowers of the spring, and the singing of birds should go on
year after year with so little apparent change and with so little
apparent passion while men change and do themselves such
wrong in the same scene and subject to the same season," Mase-
field says, in speaking of the poem which so beautifully portrays
the contrast of man's turbulent spirit with the serene beauty
PHILIP THE KING AND OTHER POEMS came in 1914. The
bringing of the news of the ruin of the Armada to King Philip II
of Spain is the theme of the short play, PHILIP THE KING. "It
is one of the noblest expressions of refined patriotism in our
literature, and along with 'The Wanderer,' 'Ships,' 'Biography,'
it stands at the head of all the verse literature of the glory of
ships." "August, 1914," that most memorable of war poems, is
included in this volume.
In 1915 THE FAITHFUL, a three-act tragedy, appeared.
It is based on episodes in Japanese history at the beginning of
the eighteenth century, which have been brought together into
a legend known as the forty-seven Ronin. Masefield keeps
closely to the simple and dramatic situations of the original
story. It is permeated with a heroic, Greek-like quality, and
numerous critics consider it the best of Masefield's plays.
GOOD FRIDAY, a dramatic poem telling of the Passion of
Jesus, is characterized by dignity and simple beauty. The vol-
ume containing this play includes also a number of his best loved
sonnets. This one-act play has been presented annually for the
past three years on Palm Sunday by members of the Union
Congregational Church in Boston. It was published in 1916.
The same year gave to the world the imperishable
GALLIPOLI, that poignantly sad and so vividly realistic saga of
the Dardanelles campaign "Not as a tragedy nor as a mistake,
but as a great human effort, which came, more than once, very
''jLur*> f -' --f\~''-- "'/'-*-'"-"
near to triumph, achieved the impossible many times, and failed
in the end, as many great deeds of arms have failed from some-
thing which had nothing to do with arms nor with the men
who bore them." The thirteenth edition of the book was
published in 1925, which surely is an indication of the precious
quality of this eloquent tribute to the 38,000 Englishmen who
lie buried in Gallipoli. "GALLIPOLI is a book to strike the
critical faculty numb and hush the heart of the hearer. For an
age aye, forever on the earth, so far as we can dream it
it will be read and gloried in afresh, and heads will be bowed
and tears of strong men shed at every telling. It is as yet too
sacred for applause," wrote W. H. Hamilton.
In THE OLD FRONT LINE (1917) he gives us a graphic
account of the front as it was when the Battle of the Somme
began. Through his active service with the Red Cross,
Masefield came into direct contact with the realism of war, and
his descriptions are vivid and gripping. The early days of the
War can be relived through this book. As in GALLIPOLI, there
are innumerable interesting illustrations.
In the spring of 1918 John Masefield came to America as
an emissary for his country, and two speeches delivered at that
time are contained in THE WAR AND THE FUTURE one with
that title and the other "St. George and the Dragon." Many
anecdotes enliven the vivid descriptions of the war. In each
he pleads for special cooperation between England and America.
LOLLINGDOWN DOWNS (1918), a title given because most
of the poems contained in it were written at that place, includes
the famous series of lyrics and sonnets that many consider
Masefield's profoundest work.
With the close of the War, a new Masefield appeared.
The year 1919 saw the publication of REYNARD THE Fox, that
flashing record of a hunt which stirs the blood of every reader,
whether he has ever ridden to the hounds or not. Here is
England, her people, and her dearest sport, sung in swinging,
almost perfect verse. "I wrote REYNARD THE Fox partly
because the events of a fox hunt have been for some centuries
the deepest pleasure in English country life, and partly because
the fox hunt brings together on terms of equality all sorts and
conditions of the English people. Hunting makes more people
happy than anything I know." The quarto edition, with its
colored plates and many line drawings, is a proud book in many
From "Reynard the Fox."
RIGHT ROYAL, a poem about a steeplechase, followed during
the next year. It concerns the subtle relation between horse
and rider which, in moments of excitement, in the race, the hunt,
or even the panic, makes them curiously one. "Will he win?"
The reader queries anxiously, as the poem keeps him fascinated
from the beginning to the end.
Right Royal went past him, half an inch, half a head,
Half a neck, he was leading, for an instant he led
From line to line the reader follows breathlessly. There is also
a special edition of this book, containing innumerable line draw-
ings and several colored plates, which is a favorite with
From "Right Royal"
ENSLAVED AND OTHER POEMS, published in 1920, contains
some of Masefield's most admired verse. ENSLAVED tells a
romantic tale beginning
All early in the April when daylight comes at five
I went into the garden most glad to be alive
The thrushes and the black birds were singing in the thorn
The April flowers were singing for the joy of being born
Then a swift turn to tragic events; the courageous lover
willingly joining the galley slaves of the Algerian pirates to be
near his captured beloved one ; his thrilling rescue of her from
the Khalif 's harem ; and their return to England
All early in the Maytime when daylight comes at four
We blessed the hawthorne blossom that welcomed us ashore
O beautiful in this living that passes like the foam
It is to go with sorrow and come with beauty home.
"The Hounds of Hell," that weird story of the saint who
fought the powers of darkness; "Cap on Head," another strange
folk-tale of diabolical meddlings in human affairs; some more
of his beautiful sonnets and short poems, among them the lovely
"On Growing Old," are included in this volume.
Be with me Beauty for the fire is dying,
My dog and I are old, too old for roving
Man, whose young passion sets the spindrift flying
Is soon too lame to march, too cold for loving . . .
So from this glittering world with all its fashion
Its fire and play of men, its stir, its march,
Let me have Wisdom, Beauty, Wisdom and Passion,
Bread to the soul where the summers parch
Give me but these, and though the darkness close
Even the night will blossom as the rose.
In 1921 came KING COLE, a delightful story of circus life
in a poem of quiet beauty and singular charm. Masefield has
the legendary King Cole return as a spiritual force to help a
struggling circus folk. "In my poem I made him help a trav-
elling circus, because I feel that the duty of Kingship is to
encourage all the arts which add joy to life. In the circus,
it seems to me that one finds all the elements of the noble arts,
based, as they must be, on physical development, a lively sense
of life, and a kindling, compelling quality of personality. Circus
artists are true artists. They live apart in hardship and anxiety
in order to do the artist's task, which is to awaken a sense of
life in their fellows."
THE DREAM AND OTHER POEMS ( 1922) contains the poet's
beautiful tribute to his friend, the late Charles Daniel, for many
years Provost of Worcester College, Oxford. The title poem,
Masefield tells us, is based on an actual dream.
Again Masefield returned to the field of drama, and during
the next few years several plays, marked with his peculiar power
of beautiful interpretation, were published. ESTHER and
BERENICE two of these plays are based on Racine's immor-
tal tragedies. "Here in the interpretation through the medium
of an alien tongue of the music and ideals of one poet by another,
we have that transformation which is the object but too often
the despair of translation. The result is two great plays," said
the New York Times.
Another poetic drama based on a biblical theme is A KING'S
DAUGHTER, which tells the story of Jezebel, Queen of Samaria.
It is written in blank verse of unusual effectiveness and vigor.
The play was successfully performed by the Boar Hill Players
MELLONEY HOLTSPUR, OR THE PANGS OF LOVE is a four-
act drama built on the romantic plot "the sins of the father are
visited on the children." A mystical intermingling of the
ghosts of one generation with their living descendants makes the
play one of absorbing interest.
In 1924 was published THE TAKING OF HELEN, a story of
Helen's flight with Paris, but uses Nireus, a friend of Paris
who also is in love with Helen, as the central figure. It is
written in prose of particular beauty. An essay on "Play
Writing," in which he discusses dramatic composition, with
special reference to the Greek play and the English play ; some
passages from his letters and his essay on "Fox Hunting" are
included in the volume.
A SAILOR^S GARLAND, a most pleasing anthology of sea verse,
which contains poems from Chaucer to the poets of today, was
edited by Masefield. Many famous chanteys are included.
Although published some time ago in England, the book was
imported but recently.
THE TRIAL OF JESUS (1925) is a three-act drama in which
Masefield depicts the trial and condemnation of Jesus, opening
in the garden of Gethsemane with the betrayal by Judas and
closing with a description of Christ's death. "The sincerity of
purpose, solemnity of tone, and majesty of movement manifest
in his writing is well in keeping with the subject he has chosen.
The choruses which begin the play and end each act are well
calculated to raise the audience spiritually and place them in
the proper mood for an acceptance of the divine origin and
superhuman powers of Christ."
In 1925 came Masefield's first novel in fourteen years.
A thrilling, romantic tale entitled SARD HARKER. Of this book
the New York Times said: "It is written with verve and salt.
It has the relish for rough life and the gusts of Smollet. Life
has been poured into the pages of this book in beautiful prose,
in which Masefield has caught up the clash of human passion
and the loveliness and fierce beauty of nature."
From "The Dream"
The year 1926 brought another novel, an equally stirring
story entitled ODTAA. "In his prose romances John Masefield
has developed such a genre as never was on land or sea. Obscure
fears one by one take form with the vividness, the swiftness,
the continuity of a nightmare, the unseen fear in the forest,
felt by horse and by rider, the fear of dead men coming back,
of being locked up when fire is approaching, of being caught
all these fears shot through with the familiar dread of not
getting to a place on time. ... So real in fact do the charac-
ters, the scenes, the republic itself become that they seem to bear
witness against the author's own signed statement : 'The persons
and events described in this story are imaginary', " wrote the
reviewer in the Chicago Daily News.
John Masefield and his daughter Judith
Whatever the future years may give us from the pen of
John Masefield, lasting fame has already been won. Eloquent
evidence of this lies in the tributes which hailed the new collected
edition of his POEMS AND PLAYS, in four volumes, published
late in 1925. Some of these reviews are appended in this
booklet. | -
Since his marriage in 1903, Masefield has lived in England.
His home is now at Boar's Hill, Oxford. He has one son,
and one daughter Judith, who drew the illustrations for
KING COLE and THE DREAM. A few years ago he built in his
garden a little theatre which seats an audience of about one
hundred. Here the Boar Hill Players stage their productions.
The theatre is dedicated to poetic drama, the furthering of
which is one of Masefield's special interests. Some of his own
plays, among them THE TRIAL OF JESUS, have been performed
Describing the poet, Mr. Gerald Cumberland wrote of him
in 1918: "John Masefield has an invincible picturesqueness
picturesqueness that stamps him at once as different from his
fellows. He is tall, straight, and blue-eyed, with a complexion
as clear as a child's. His eyes are amazingly shy ... his
manner is shy. You feel his sensitiveness and you admire the
dignity that is at once its outcome and protection.
"There are many legends about Masefield he is the kind
of figure that gives rise to legends and, as he is studiously
reticent, some of the legends have persisted and have for many
persons become true."
But the facts of his life are surely sufficiently picturesque
and his poem "Biography" he tells us what he would have us
Men do not heed the rungs by which men climb
Those glittering steps, those milestones upon Time,
Those tombstones of dead selves, those hours of birth,
Those moments of the soul in years of earth
They mark the height achieved, the main result,
The power of freedom in the perished cult,
The power of boredom in the dead man's deeds,
Not the bright moments of the sprinkled seeds.
From, "Salt Water Poems and Ballads'
IN BEHALF OF JOHN MASEFIELD
By STUART SHERMAN
John Masefield has a grave musical voice, and when, with
sharp little gushes'of emotion, he reads "The West Wind" and
makes one hear his lark singing "above the green wheat,"
I swear no sweeter song has been sung in my time or more
soothing to a tired heart. Why should I not go on and say
that I am not ready to sift him yet, because nearly all of his
work, perhaps barring the adaptations from Racine, still seems
This lean, sad-eyed master of song-craft, who has plowed
Gloucestershire with oxen and the deep sea with ships, has given
me more poetic pleasure than any other English poet living.
Through his awakened personality I have felt mighty rhythms
pulsing through forms of life that dissolve and decay; through
waves that break, fields sown and harvested, foiled tragic lovers,
hot races ending with blown steeds and fallen horsemen, and
forlorn hopes ebbing out in blood-drenched, frost-bitten trenches
by the Hellespont. His glorification of the invincible van-
quished stirs me, I confess, profoundly. It is the inside story
of human life. He tells it with swift, bright speed, and yet
with a pathos which bites to the bone.
Without going through any critical processes, I have but to
glance at the fifteen volumes which preceded this collected
edition to my shelves to see that in the long race of this last
twenty-five years Masefield has now for a decade or more been
in the lead. My favorites of the old time, Stephen Phillips and
John Synge, fell long ago into the blind cave of night. Mase-
field's immediacy and sincerity and fresh color are unfavorable
to most of the others.
* * * *
Of course, I know that John Masefield has had his quarter-
century of productivity and his decade of fame, and that it is
high time now for him to be slipping off the stage and leaving
elbow room for the critics to haul the ascending stars into
heaven. I know what the voguish critics are saying that
Masefield began W 7 ith echoes of Kipling and Synge; that he
spells Beauty with a capital letter; that the introduction of
"closhy puts" and bar-room oaths into verse is no great feat
once the trick has been suggested; that the tragedies are melo-
dramatic through inadequate characterization; that the narra-
tives are prolix ; that the verse is padded with moral platitudes ;
that "lasted" is rhymed with "Bastard," as it is by many
speakers; and that throughout the works there is a culpable
indifference to the poetic uses of the file, just as there is in the
works of the Master of all Makers.
Some of this critical pawing is captious. Masefield's appren-
tice debt to Kipling in SALT WATER BALLADS and to Synge in
THE TRAGEDY OF NAN was soon stricken off the score. The
mature Masefield is nobody's echo. He is a figure as inde-
pendent and original as any man can be who works, as all the
great English poets have done, for the vital continuation of an
ancient and splendid tradition. Obviously, he learned his craft
of the masters. For the forms and instruments of his music his
debt is immense to Burns, Byron, Shakespeare, Spenser, and
Chaucer. THE EVERLASTING MERCY is, if you please, an
English Tarn O'Shanter; THE WIDOW IN THE BYE STREET,
a modern Troilus and Cressida; REYNARD THE Fox, a resusci-
tation of the Canterbury Pilgrims; DAUBER is Childe Harold
or Don Juan gone on a fresh pilgrimage; and the chief sonnet
sequence carries on the Elizabethan quest for the soul and the
divine idea behind the shadows of things. But that a poet
suggests such comparisons, while writing with sharp realism of
his own times and out of his own experience, marks him not a
slave but an heir.
Some of these exceptions, however, are well taken, and Mr.
Masefield himself would probably sustain them. In the heat of
the race, he has not always avoided knocking the top-rail off
the fence. In his brief introduction to this edition, glancing
back over the performance of his generations, he says: "Often
their work has been harsh, violent, and ill-considered." But
their mission, he intimates, was not to gild the refined Tenny-
sonian gold nor to paint the late Victorian lily white. Tennyson
himself had kept an even balance between the native English
tendency toward a robust rendering of life and the imported
cult of artifice and technical finish. His imitators declined into
a mere respectability, devoid of poetic courage or hope. The
mission of Masefield's generation was to sally boldly into nature
and restore vitality by reemphasizing the native qualities:
"character-drawing, humor, liveliness, and truth."
Certainly the apologist for Masefield should frankly concede
his flaws and foibles to Mr. Squire and other parodists. He
should take positive ground and defend him for the passionate
expression of his tragic realism, his strength, and his sincerity.
An English critic, Dixon Scott, moved to comment by THE
DAFFODIL FIELDS, began with a protest against the solemnity
with which people take their poets. They, the poets, are just
like other people, he would have us believe, not a race of "wilted
priests," but "simple, jolly, frank, and friendly souls . . .
engrossed in the grubby, glorious work of growing flowers."
Well, a good many contemporary poets are like that. That is
the trouble with their poetry. It is a kind of passionless flori-
culture. But John Masefield stands out as not in the least like
that. Poetry has been in the place of religion to him; and he
has served it like a priest not with a linen ephod, but with
Carlyle's "baphometic fire-baptism."
In that interesting novel of his, MULTITUDE AND SOLITUDE,
there are many cutting observations on contemporary literature,
and, in Roger Naldrett, there is a portrait of the poet's mind
which we may accept as strikingly similar to that of its author.
Roger declares that the Celtic love of the beautiful is "all
bunkum." He finds the distinctive quality of Irish verse "in
that kind of windy impersonality which one hears in their talk."
"I maintain," he says, "that the Irish have no imagination.
Imagination is a moral quality." Before he settles down to a
literary life, Roger wishes to get the whole of himself involved
and incandescent in the flame of his imagination. "I begin to
think that a writer without character, without high and austere
character, in himself, and in the written image of himself, is a
panderer, a bawd, a seller of Christ. . . . Good God, Hesel-
tine, it seems to me that a man should not be permitted to
write a play before he has risked his life for another, or for
Masefield's long narrative poem, DAUBER, is ordinarily
praised as a superb picture of the sea. It is that, but it is more
than that. It is a superb picture of artistic dedication. It illus-
trates the author's sense of the means by which a moribund art
may live again. Here is a man who desires to paint the "windy,
green, unquiet sea," ships scudding before the wind, and the
destinies of men whose ways are on the great deep. Nautical
pictures he might make from models in his studio. To know
the might and mystery of the sea, he must give himself to it as
the saint gives himself to God. Three years before the mast,
he hopes, will teach his hand to paint the living truth when he
shows the landlubber how billows break and a ships goes up
the wave. From the fore-topgallant yard, the dedicated dauber
tumbles too soon to his death. But such prices the gods exact
of those who mimic the Creator's art.
The point is that with Masefield literature ceases to be
hypnotic, a dreamily recreative "escape from life." It becomes
a probe to the quick of the spirit, stabbing us "broad awake." It
becomes an exultant hymning and glorification of life, even while
it rushes on catastrophe. I do not know whether he became a
sailor in order to learn to sing, or whether he sang because he
had been a sailor. But that fine poem about his great joys,
"Biography," is proof enough that the prime sources of his passion
were not "literary." He loves the taste of his own days, bitter
and sweet, and his physical immersion in experience : swimming,
racing, the first glimpse of strange mountains; but heavy labor,
too, in quarry and mill, roads tramped in the rain, the rough
talk of peasant and sailor, the long road westward through the
springing wheat, the comradeship of hard-palmed men following
Whose feet with mine wore many a bolt head bright
Treading the decks beneath the riding light.
The last line of this poem has been rather often quoted :
"The days that make us happy make us wise." There is a good
bit of Masefield in it. It is happiness, peace, and beauty which
give a man new eyes and put "compassion" into his work. Yes,
but reverse the saying and you have the other half of the poet's
wisdom: "The days that make us wise make us happy."
In this world, a wise man learns to derive a great part- of
his happiness from discovering how much misery he can endure,
how tough the human heart is, the blows it can take and still
fight on, the wounds it can receive and still recover. I doubt
whether any living poet save Thomas Hardy has meditated so
deeply and so fruitfully on disastrous things as John Masefield.
Among the tragic narratives I have a partiality for THE
WIDOW IN THE BYE STREET, which many of the commentators
rate below its deserts. It is notable for dramatic characteri-
zation. The title suggests that the interest centers in the mother,
a figure treated with overwhelming pathos, though at the same
time with an impartial disclosure of the jealous self-preservative
elements in her affection for her son. A case might be made
out for the central interest of Anna, who abides with singular
Down Bye Street, in a little Shropshire town,
There lived a widow with her only son :
She had no wealth nor title to renown,
Nor any joyous hours, never one.
From "The Everlasting Mercy ttnd Th* Wim!oir in \he. Bye Street'
vividness in my memory, dropping her spray of scarlet hips
as a signal to Ern, and holding the dazzling light so that he
may see to bash in Jimmy's face. Jimmy himself is, to my
thinking, a pretty striking piece of characterization.
But there is a fifth person in this "sordid" affair, a fifth
unnamed person, "exulting and eternal." She it was who made
Jimmy desert his mother; she infatuated him with a harlot,
she frenzied his arm to the murderous blow, she brought him
to the hangman's noose, and among the ancients she was known
as the divine Cytherea. Her defeat in the bloody squalor of
these English circumstances was, I believe, for Mr. Masefield,
one of the high interests of the occasion. Now many contrasted
elements enter into the effect of this complete, symmetrical, and
intense narrative mother-love, lust, jealousy, and murder;
but the stinging beauty and terror of it depend, I believe, upon
Masefield's vision of the authentic Cytherean casting her illusive
radiance over a heartless drab.
This is not Anna, whom he describes, hiding in the pastoral
country after the execution of Jimmy though it has her shape
and name. This is the Cytherean illusion:
There, in the April in the garden close,
One heard her in the morning singing sweet,
Calling the birds from the unbudded rose,
Offering her lips with grains for them to eat.
The redbreasts come with little wiry feet,
Sparrows and tits and all wild feathery things,
Brushing her lifted face with quivering wings.
As W. H. Hamilton has pertinently remarked, there is
something "fundamental in our poet's insistence upon another
than the easy popular verdict on the unsuccessful." In his little
book on Shakespeare, Masefield observes the Elizabethan
dramatist's brooding sympathy with tragical Kings, such as
Richard II, who failed "because they did not conform to a type
lower than themselves." Perhaps the idea is a little too subtle
or too exalted for our common feeling that virtue resides with
the victor and that the justice of a cause is to be gauged by its
But this notion of a moral splendor in the dead and defeated,
Mr. Masefield pursues through his tragedies: POMPEY THE
GREAT, in which the hero has traits of resemblance to Woodrow
Wilson; PHILIP THE KING, serene with religious faith after
the destruction of the Armada, dismissing the tragic messenger
with the thought: "In bitter days the soul finds God, God us";
the tragedy in Oriental mask, called THE FAITHFUL; the noble
tragic narrative of GALLIPOLI, in which fragments from the
Song of Roland give the keynote; and so on through the two
recent dramas dealing with the invincible "lost cause" of
To Masefield I think that the most beautiful and exulting
thing in the world the fairest form into which our transi-
tory lives can flame, rushing into darkness is the courage of
men who have been faithful unto death. The heroic thrills him
to his heart's core. Yet for him the World War was a long
overshadowing agony, lit only by the blazing glory of human
endurance. He followed the Red Cross to one of the most
desperate battlefields to share its perils and to alleviate its
miseries. These lines remind us in what mood men of peace in
those days bowed to doom and
sadly rose and left the well loved Downs.
And so by ship to sea; and knew no more
The fields of home, the byres, the market towns,
Nor the dear outline of the English shore.
But knew the misery of the soaking trench,
The freezing in the rigging, the despair
In the revolting second of the wrench
When the blind soul is flung upon the air.
From that tragedy Masefield returned with an immense and
desperate compassion for the animula God's waif, the human
soul poor, thin, little tenant of this falling house of flesh, bewil-
dered wanderer among his own juggernauts and thunders, along
the roaring abysses of oblivion. The SONNETS dedicated "To
My American Friends" in 1916 are an intensely realistic expres-
sion of a bitter quest, ending in the impersonally consolatory
The sun wifl rise, the winds that ever move
Will blow our dust, and boy and girl will love.
Since the War Mr. Masefield has, I suspect, steadied
himself by leaning heavily on the joy of people who do not think
and feel deeply. In REYNARD THE Fox, RIGHT ROYAL and
KING COLE outstanding narrative poems of these later years
friendly critics have hailed a recovery of that fluent,
exuberant, creative energy, objective, dramatic, and sensuous,
which first astonished and delighted them in THE EVERLASTING
MERCY. Here are indeed high spirits and blithe scenes; sun-
light and dew on English meadow and woodland ; the barking
of dogs; the excitement of horses; the pungency of the stable
and the reek of the groom's strong pipe on the morning air;
jolly, beef-eating, red-coated huntsmen ; English girls with roses
in their cheeks; jockeys, farmers, hucksters, peasantry all the
countryside gayly assembling for the old English sports, the
fox hunt, the horse race, the travelling circus. Here are the
bright speed, the galloping rhythms, the brilliant colors, the
odor and zest of ruddy life.
One is tempted to say that the sensitive author of the sonnets
and the lyrics, full of haunting cries and gushes of poignant
sadness, has tossed his melancholy and the heartbreak of the
animula into the west wind, and has voided the chamber of his
personality in order to fill it with the ancient traditional emo-
tions of the folk. It is one of many signs that John Masefield
is a true poet of the taller sort, that he rises to a serene and
joyous contemplation of the whole course of the "river of life"
streaming down from Chaucer's time with the eternal rhythm,
and the fleeing waters that sparkle and pass. After sharp hunger,
passionate seeking, nostalgia of the spirit, and tragic illumi-
nation, he has come to the clear high point from which Arnold
described the full murmurous flowing of the Oxus to the sea.
His personal feeling is discernible in the scene only in the
softening of the light and in the almost inaudible undertone
Lean'd on his fate, he gazes tears
Are in his eyes, and in his ears
The murmur of a thousand years.
Before him he sees life unroll, ^
A placid and continuous whole
That general life, which does not cease . . .
"Books" New York Herald Tribune
By LAURENCE STALLINGS
We learn from time to time that the Englishmen are all
dead. Some fomenting soul hints darkly that Anglophiles are
poring over English tripe at the reviewing stand. Bennett and
Wells and Galsworthy are dead upon their feet; old age has
overtaken Hardy; Kipling has pneumonia; and Joseph Conrad
is home from the sea.
We also learn that English poetry is now laid low.
Housman has quit. Bridges never does anything, and the Sit-
wells and Huxleys are rightly mad. The young men of England,
so it is said, are vainly attempting to fit the glass slipper of Lord
Alfred of Victoria upon their feet or wear the clog shoes
of T. S. Eliot. And as for the theatre, Shaw alone maintains
the tradition, and he an Irishman. The rest are so many
Michael Arlens laid hat to hat.
All this being the case, it is disconcerting for John Masefield
to dump his collected works upon the unsuspecting and preening
American self-esteem. We Americans, one hears everywhere,
are on the up-grade in literachoor. We have a hey-nonny-
nonny lilt of virility for new forms, new things, new gods.
Then comes another collected edition from England, this time
John Masefield 's.
Whaddye mean, the English are all dead? Macmillan's
sends the Masefield collection down to Park Row. Masefield
dead ? Masefield isn't nearly through. He has simply collected
four volumes of the things he wishes preserved. If it is newness
of verse you seek, there's the volume containing THE WIDOW
IN THE BYE STREET and THE EVERLASTING MERCY. If it is
excellence in the classic style, you might read again "Be With
Me, Beauty, for the Fire Is Dying." If it be drama or
plays, you may have your choice between good plays in verse
and good plays in prose. For narrative there is DAUBER and
for the crude, uncut rhythms of verse you may again read
RIGHT ROYAL or REYNARD THE Fox.
Masefield has not yet included his prose in the collection.
His study of GALLIPOLI is absent that long, straight flight of
writing which preserves forever still another crowd of bright
and deathless figures on the beaches near Troy. One recalls
fugitive other pieces. The English are all worn out and awry ?
Just so many Cosmo Hamiltons running from WJZ?
Ho! Ho! Ho! Stop me if you've heard this one.
I wish to God we had one American who gave the promise
of some day living, on a hill somewhere, comparable to Boar's
Hill in Oxford, who might dump four volumes of Masefield's
stuff down upon this desk. Then there would be another
Anglo-phobe following the trail which Sinclair Lewis blazes
anew whenever he returns from London, monocle in eye, stars
and stripes forever.
It seems to me that Masefield can take his own epitaph from
a thought expressed in one of his own prefaces: "It is only by
such vision that the multitude can be brought to the passionate
knowledge of things exulting and eternal." His stuff is
"exulting and eternal" in its essence. That icy climb of Dauber
over the futtock shrouds, the flight of the boy in THE EVER-
LASTING MERCY, the core of Masefield's shorter songs, the
penetration in his play of THE FAITHFUL, these things are filled
with exultation, and they possibly will survive as long as English
is read. New York World
From "Right Royal"
JOHN MASEFIELD'S PLACE IN ENGLISH POETRY
Not until the publication of THE EVERLASTING MERCY in
the English Review in 1911 did the critics prick their ears. No
volume of poetry published in this century has made a stir
comparable to the effect it produced. From that day poetry
took a new lease of life. At the risk of being accused of uttering
blasphemy, let it be set down here that this was an event fully
as decisive as the publication of Lyrical Ballads a century before.
THE EVERLASTING MERCY, whatever its defects, poured vitality
back into English verse. Poetry was again the provoker of hot
argument, not merely matter for languid appraisal.
That event, in reality only a few years past, now seems far
off. Many new voices have since been raised, both in America
and in England. Of them all, to this reviewer, Masefield's is
the fullest-toned, the deepest. He has remained sensitive to the
tradition of English poetry, but he has never been circumscribed
by it. His foundations rest unshakably upon it, but he has done
his own building. None knows better than himself how much
he owes to the great singers who have preceded him ; he does
not pose as the beneficiary of a special dispensation. But what
he has drawn from them he has made unmistakably his own.
One can think of no other poet since Chaucer so purely
English in derivation and in spirit. His intense nationalism has
no doubt contributed to the marking down of his talents in some
critical quarters, for nationalism nowadays receives a cold
scrutiny. Masefield's is of the kind that will not be stared
down. Its basis is spiritual, in
. . . the heartfelt things past-speaking dear
To unknown generations of dead men.
Out of that nationalism of his came the noblest utterance in
poetry that the War brought forth. If Masefield had written
nothing else besides "August, 1914," his name would be remem-
bered among the English poets. No blustering patriot, no facile
glorifier of war, wrote those lines. If men died for love of
England they also
. . . died (uncouthly, most) in foreign lands
For some idea but dimly understood
Of an English city never built by hands
Which love of England prompted and made good.
The mood in which Masefield watched the approach of war,
as it is here recorded, is not the eager consecration to which
young men like Rupert Brooke gave expression. Masefield's
poem has lost nothing of its poignancy in the aftermath of
disillusion, because it was written from an embracing vision.
It does not ennoble war; it merely perceives it as the agency
through which men reach down into
The depths and sunken gold of being alive.
Men will give of themselves again as they have before, to the
last spurt of energy, to the last drop of blood.
In the idealism of which human nature is capable, whether
in blindly serving unworthy ends or not, one finds John Mase-
field's sympathies always passionately enlisted. That is what
gives meaning to his world.
The faithful fool who follows the torn flag,
The woman marching by the beaten man,
Make with their truth atonement for the brag,
And earn a pity for the too proud plan.
For in disaster, in the ruined will,
In the soiled shreds of what the brain conceived,
Something above the wreck is steady still,
Bright above all that cannot be retrieved.
Grandeur of soul, a touching of the star
That good days covered but by which we are.
That is the conviction, this burning belief in the tortured
nobility to which human nature can reach, which is at the core
of tragedy in his plays, just as it runs through the poems.
Whether it be Pompey the Great, going to his death on the
shores of Pelusium in Egypt, or the Samurai of THE FAITHFUL
laying down their lives out of loyalty, the informing spirit is
It is natural that a poet who is deeply sensitive to the poten-
tial greatness in human nature should seek ardently for some
assurance that man is not playing his part in a meaningless
rigmarole. His sequence of sonnets picturing the flow and ebb
of vanishing civilizations ends with these lines:
So shall we be; so will our cities lie,
Unknown beneath the grasses of the Summer,
Walls without roofs, naves open to the sky,
Doors open to the wind, the only comer.
And men will grub the ruins, eyes will peer
Fingers will grope for pennies, brains will tire
To chronicle the skills we practiced here,
While still we breathed the wind and trod the mire.
O, like the ghost at dawn scared by the cock
Let us make haste, to let the spirit dive
Deep in self's sea, until the deeps unlock
The depths and sunken gold of being alive
Till, though our Many pass, a something stands
Aloft through Time that covers all with sands.
Is there another poet in whose work there is combined the
fruitful meditation which distinguishes Masefield's sonnets and
the impelling flow and graphic sharpness of his narrative verse?
He is an extraordinarily versatile poet. Where else among
living writers of verse can one find the ancient ballad form
recreated as in "The Hounds of Hell" and "Cap on Head," with
no loss of the original freshness and dramatic sweep? "Dauber"
stands as the best poem of the sea and as one of the
best stories of the sea in the English tongue. And he has served
the countryside, as well, in REYNARD THE Fox, THE DAFFODIL
FIELDS and KING COLE. All the life of an English county stirs
in REYNARD THE Fox, and that man's blood is sluggish indeed
who can put down the poem without reading through to the
finish of the hunt. Here is narrative that flies.
* * * *
Among all his contemporaries in poetry there is none who
has a better chance of survival. If he had been less intelligible,
those who complain now of his intellectual content would be
better satisfied, but he has chosen to stand with the best poets
in his tongue in that also; his simplicity is of the sort that helps
to keep poetry remembered and alive. The poetry that springs
from emotion, not the intellectual exercise. In that conception
of his art John Masefield has been unswerving: the beauty of
ships that has moved him, the sea's power, the soul of man
fighting in the last ditch his emotional response to such as
these has been finely tempered, of ringing honesty, and fired with
the spark that brings a glow to the minds of other men.
New York Times Book Review
"OF THE ELECT"
By ARTHUR GUITERMAN
The tumult and the shouting dies, the critics and their bards
depart; John Masefield remains, one of the few who carry on
the high tradition of English poetry, a great poet by virtue of a
great soul. In his fiftieth year his poems and plays have been
collected as THE COLLECTED WORKS OF JOHN MASEFIELD, in
four volumes, making it easier to arrive at some estimate of the
literary achievement of an unusually varied career. In these
books there is nothing weak nor petty. We have the lyric vigor
and rude mirth of the early SALT WATER BALLADS, with the
sailor's yearning for the sea and the loveliness of tall ships;
the plays and the tragic poems, with their deep feeling for
struggling humanity; REYNARD THE Fox, with its rich Chau-
cerian pictures of the English countryside; the later sonnets,
with their definite philosophy and melodious charm; and always
the understanding sympathy that drives out hatred and the
passionate devotion of the seeker for
that one beauty
God put me here to find.
Great poetry is essential truth revealed in beauty ; and poetry
is not an exercise for the neurotic, the lazy, nor the mentally
deficient. The mind of a true poet should be as logical as that
of a mathematician and as clean, vigorous, and well-trained as
the body of an athlete ; his observation and insight should be as
unerring as that of a scientist; and his utterance, with all its
graces of diction, should be as clear as that of a mountaineer
or a wise child. The great poet, like the great scientist, deals
not in "common sense," but in that uncommon sense of a better
day. By these tests and more, John Masefield is surely of
the elect. The Outlook
"THE MOST SATISFYING POET"
By JOHN FARRAR
Upon the publication of the complete edition of his poems
and plays, I find little new to say about John Masefield. He
seems to me by far the most satisfying poet of our time. In its
final essence, greatness in poetry, as far as current poets are
concerned, is certainly a matter of personal preference. There
are those who find, in some of Masefield, swinging rhythms that
mark him for them as "popular." Others belittle him on other
grounds. The fact remains that for beauty of form and line,
originality of conception, serenity of thought, John Masefield is
supreme. He is a more vital poet than Hardy, a more thoughtful
poet than Kipling, a more virile poet than Yeats. His great lines
are many, and there are many great and memorable poems.
As a dramatist, he possesses a quiet depth that is perhaps the
mark also of the great poet rather than the dramatic genius;
yet there are few finer modern plays than THE TRAGEDY OF
NAN. The Bookman
From "Salt Water Poems and Ballads"
1912 THE EVERLASTING MERCY and THE WIDOW IN THE
BYE STREET. Illustrated edition 1919.
THE STORY OF A ROUND HOUSE (published under title
BALLADS AND POEMS in England).
1913 THE DAFFODIL FIELDS.
SALT WATER BALLADS. Illustrated edition 1916.
A MAINSAIL HAUL.
1914 TRAGEDY OF POMPEY THE GREAT.
PHILIP THE KING.
1915 JOHN M. SYNGE (out of print).
GOOD FRIDAY AND OTHER POEMS.
1916 SONNETS (special edition, autographed; out of print).
THE TRAGEDY OF NAN. Illustrated edition 1921.
THE LOCKED CHEST and THE SWEEPS OF NINETY-
MULTITUDE AND SOLITUDE.
1917 THE LOST ENDEAVOR.
LOLLINGDOWN DOWNS AND OTHER POEMS.
1918 ROSAS (special limited edition; out of print).
THE WAR AND THE FUTURE.
COLLECTED EDITION OF POEMS AND PLAYS (two vols.,
out of print).
1919 REYNARD THE Fox.
1921 KING COLE.
1922 ESTHER and BERENICE.
THE DREAM (limited autographed edition; out of print)
THE DREAM AND OTHER POEMS.
1923 SELECTED POEMS (limited autographed edition; out of
A KING'S DAUGHTER.
WORKS (Leather Pocket Edition, eight volumes).
THE TAKING OF HELEN.
1924 SARD HARKER.
1925 THE TRIAL OF JESUS.
1925 COLLECTED POEMS AND PLAYS (four volumes).
1925 A SAILOR'S GARLAND (imported ; previously published in
England ) .
SEA LIFE IN NELSON'S TIME (imported; previously
published in England).
ON THE SPANISH MAIN (imported; previously pub-
lished in England).
CONTENTS OF VOLUMES IN
VOLUME I. Poems
SALT WATER BALLADS
THE EVERLASTING MERCY
THE WIDOW IN THE BYE STREET
THE DAFFODIL FIELDS
SONNETS AND OTHER POEMS
LOLLINGDON DOWNS AND OTHER POEMS
VOLUME II. Poems
REYNARD THE Fox
THE HOUNDS OF HELL
CAP ON HEAD
ON GROWING OLD
VOLUME III. Prose Plays
THE CAMPDEN WONDER
THE SWEEPS OF NINETY-EIGHT
THE LOCKED CHEST
THE TRAGEDY OF NAN
THE. TRAGEDY OF POMPEY THE GREAT
PHILIP THE KING
A KING'S DAUGHTER
EACH VOLUME $3.00
PRICE LIST OF THE WORKS OF
CAPTAIN MARGARET $2.25
COLLECTED WORKS. In 4 volumes each 3.00
DREAM, THE, AND OTHER POEMS 1.25
ENSLAVED, AND OTHER POEMS 2.00
ESTHER AND BERENICE. Two Plays 2.00
EVERLASTING MERCY, THE, and THE WIDOW IN THE BYE STREET 2.00
FAITHFUL, THE 2.00
GALLIPOLI. New Edition 2.50
GOOD FRIDAY AND OTHER POEMS 1.75
KING COLE 1-50
KING'S DAUGHTER, A. A Tragedy in Verse 1.75
LOCKED CHEST, THE, and THE SWEEPS OF NINETY-EIGHT . . . 1.50
LOLLINCDON DOWNS AND OTHER POEMS 1-75
LOST ENDEAVOR 2.00
MAINSAIL HAUL, A 2.00
MELLONEY HOLTSPUR, OR THE PANGS OF LOVE 1.50
MULTITUDE AND SOLITUDE 2.00
ODTAA . 2.50
OLD FRONT LINE, THE 1.40
ON THE SPANISH MAIN 2.50
PHILIP THE KING AND OTHER POEMS 1.75
REYNARD THE Fox, OR THE GHOST HEATH RUN 1.75
Illustrated Edition with new Introduction 5.00
RIGHT ROYAL 1.75
Illustrated Edition 2.50
SAILOR'S GARLAND, A. (Editor) 2.50
SALT WATER POEMS AND BALLADS 2.50
SARD HARKER 2.50
SEA LIFE IN NELSON'S TIME 2.50
SELECTED POEMS. (Masefield's Selections) 2.50
SELECTED POEMS. (Edited by Canby, Pierce, and Durham) . 1.75
STORY OF A ROUND-HOUSE, THE, AND OTHER POEMS .... 2.00
TAKING OF HELEN, THE 1.60
TRAGEDY OF NAN AND OTHER PLAYS, THE. New illustrated Ed. 2.00
TRAGEDY OF POMPEY THE GREAT, THE 2.00
TRIAL OF JESUS, THE 1.75
WAR AND THE FUTURE, THE 1.50
WORKS. Leather Pocket Edition. 8 Volumes. Price per set 12.50
Vol. I. SALT WATER POEMS AND BALLADS
Vol. II. THE EVERLASTING MERCY. THE WIDOW IN THE BYE
Vol. III. DAUBER. THE DAFFODIL FIELDS
Vol. IV. PHILIP THE KING AND OTHER POEMS
Vol. V. REYNARD THE Fox, OR THE GHOST HEATH RUN
Vol. VI. ENSLAVED AND OTHER POEMS
Vol. VII. RIGHT ROYAL
Vol. VIII. KING COLE. THE DREAM AND OTHER POEMS
These books by John Masefield are published by
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