This may end up being one of the Quality Elements of the entire year. I can hardly believe that I've lived my whole life and never crossed paths with this poem before.
Gerald Gould lived 1885-1936. He was an English writer and journalist. He regularly contributed poetry to the London Daily Herald. His poems were popular and a few appeared in collections, but many of them remain buried in newspaper morgues.
Wander-Thirst is supposed to be his best-known poem.
by Gerald Gould
Beyond the east the sunrise; Beyond the west the sea
And East and West the Wander-Thirst that will not let me be;
It works in me like madness to bid me say goodbye,
For the seas call, and the stars call, and oh! The call of the sky!
I know not where the white road runs, nor what the blue hills are,
But a man can have the sun for friend, and for his guide, a star;
And there’s no end to voyaging when once the voice is heard,
For the rivers call, and the road calls, and oh! The call of a bird!
Yonder the long horizon lies, and there by night and day
The old ships draw to home again, the young ships sail away
And come I may, but go I must, and if men ask you why,
You may put the blame on the stars and the sun,
And the white road and the sky.
This was my last day at work in the apartment. I ate lunch sitting in the bay window, and read this poem over and over.
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