Page:John Masefield.djvu/21

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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 there.

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 remember.

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 "Biography")