|Photograph of the poet John Payne, taken in 1904|
via Wikimedia Commons
HERMAN MELVILLE.NONE of the sea that fables but must yield
To Melville; whether with Whitejacket fain
We are to share, or Redburn, joy and pain;
Whether through Mardi's palaces, palm-ceiled,
We stray or wander in Omoo afield
Or dream with Ishmael cradled at the main,
High in the crow's-nest o'er the rocking plain,
Few such enchantments o'er the soul can wield.
But, over all the tale of Typee vale,
O'er all his idylls of the life afloat,
"The Whale" I prize, wherein, of all that wrote
Of Ocean, none e'er voiced for us as he
The cachalot's mad rush, the splintered boat,
The terrors and the splendours of the sea.