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Whale Poems

Table of Contents

  1. The Whale by Joseph Edwards Carpenter
  2. The Convention of Fishes by Mart Taylor
  3. Whale and Its Foes by James McIntyre
  4. The Whale by Isaac McLellan

  1. The Whale

    by Joseph Edwards Carpenter

    Oh! the whale is free of the boundless sea,
    He lives for a thousand years;
    He sinks to rest in the billow's breast,
    Nor the roughest tempest fears:
    The howling blast as it hurries past,
    Is music to lull him to sleep,
    And he scatters the spray in his boisterous play,
    As he dashes the king of the deep.
    Oh! the rare old whale, 'mid storm and gale,
    In his ocean home shall be,
    A giant in might, where might is right,
    And king of the boundless sea!

    A wondrous tale could the rare old whale
    Of the mighty deep disclose,
    Of skeleton forms of by-gone storms,
    And of treasures that no one knows;
    He has seen the crew, when the tempest blew,
    Drop down from the slippery deck,
    Shaking the tide from his glassy side,
    And sporting with ocean and wreck,
    Then the rare old whale, 'mid storm and gale
    In his ocean home shall be,
    A giant in might, where might is right,
    And king of the boundless sea.

    Then the whale shall be still dear to me
    When the midnight lamp burns dim,
    For the student's book, and his favourite nook,
    Are illumed by the aid of him;
    From none of his tribe could we e'er imbibe
    So useful, so bless'd a thing;
    Then we'll on land, go hand in hand
    To hail him the ocean king,
    Oh! the rare old whale, 'mid storm and gale,
    In his home will ever be,
    A giant in might, where might is right,
    And king of the boundless sea!

  2. The Convention of Fishes

    by Mart Taylor

    "'Twas once on a time" that a number of fishes,
    Put their names to a call expressing their wishes,
    That all might assemble where none could molest,
    But each his opinion could tell to the rest;
    So the fishes of every description and name—
    The "big fish" and "small fry" respectively came;
    And when a respectable number were there,
    The whale was respectfully tendered the chair.
    He opened the meeting by saying that he
    Would try and no longer than possible be.
    "That's a curious speech" said the sword-fish, "I vow,
    He could hardly be longer, he's eighty feet now."

    His whaleship declared it in very bad taste,
    That his "oil should be burned and his bones go to waste;"
    And he furthermore stated he thought it unfair
    That the fishes should try to "make light of him there;"
    And he blubbered to think that a fish of such pride,
    Should be always cut up and exceedingly tried.
    The porpoise arose and replied to the whale,
    And stated that he had been moved by his tale,
    But he said that the whale and the shark might be vain;
    That they both have "fine openings" is certainly plain.
    Says the shark "I have never made any parade,
    I'm only a poor scaly dentist by trade,
    But my duty should be, to be on the alert
    And show to mankind I have teeth to insert."
    Says the shark "the old whale is a lawyer no doubt—
    The porpoise a preacher and both of them spout.
    And though Jonah the prophet in his whale-ship once went,
    The whale had not profited by the event.
    The cod-fish, like some in our cities now-a-days,
    By a vain worded speech began seeking for praise:
    He said that no one could declare him a fool,
    For the most of his time had been spent in a school,
    That the world all admired him, he knew by this sign,
    That to him mankind had dropped many a line;
    He thought that the cod-fish were better than whales,
    Since they gave such a business to some of the males.
    The clam, who had scarcely been noticed before,
    All clam-erous for honors appeared on the floor,
    And said that he hoped it were not out of place
    For one so neglected to open his case.
    He acknowledged he was of diminutive size,
    But bragged on his muscle quite to their suprise;
    And stated, though he was not sought for his oil,
    He often was found in a stew or a broil.
    The oyster arose and modestly said
    The most of his time had been passed in his bed;
    That he never had feared the fishes or snakes,
    But his virtuous bed was molested by rakes.
    The tortoise for honor began to contend
    By saying that he was the "Alderman's friend."
    Said he, "tho' I scarcely can move on my feet,
    I oft' travel far my admirers to meet."
    A fish of five inches now wished to be seen;
    Says the cod I'll not listen to any sardine.
    The crab thought his presence no longer desired,
    So he left the convention and backward retired.
    The flying-fish flew in a passion, no doubt,
    At seeing so many old suckers about,
    The convention broke up and the members declare
    That like many now-a-days, 'twas a scaly affair.

  3. Whale and Its Foes

    by James McIntyre

    Six hundred miles north of Cape Flattery,
    On sea there seemed a floating battery,
    And stream of blood did dye the water,
    Sailors wondered what was the matter.

    But they soon saw a great sword fish
    With its bayonet make a quick rush,
    Into which proved to be large whale,
    And thrasher too did it assail.

    The whale dived deep to save its life,
    But thrasher eager for the strife,
    Knew whale must rise for to get breath,
    Then it would thrash the whale to death.

    At last the great whale it arose,
    And in distress it spouts and blows,
    In anger sweeps its mighty tail,
    Defensive weapon of the whale.

    But thrasher high in air did leap,
    And fell on monster of the deep,
    The sword fish then it did advance,
    And assaulted it with its lance.

    Thus united foes soon do prevail,
    And quick there floated a dead whale,
    The thrasher now victorious winner,
    From off the whale expected dinner.

    But ship's crew they secured the prize,
    Whale bone and blubber monster size,
    Others fought but they only reap,
    The spoils of mammoth of the deep,

  4. The Whale

    by Isaac McLellan


    Sailing across the lonely seas,
    Sailing across the Okotsh Sound,
    The tempest-beaten ship roll'd on,
    On distant voyagings bound,
    For months the ship had swept the deep;
    Long since had faded the lamps of home,
    Long since the headlands had grown dim,
    The lighthouse vanish'd o'er the foam;
    For seasons 'neath the Southern Cross,
    Through seas Antarctic they'd been borne,
    Far down Magellan's stormy Strait,
    And stony barriers of Cape Horn.
    And now the Northern tides they sought,
    Where glaciers lin'd the barren shore,
    Where icebergs lift their crystal peaks,
    And frosty tides chafe evermore.

    They sail'd, sail'd on, day after day,
    And yet no "spout" arous'd the crews;
    The "lookout" in the "crow's-nest" gave
    No warning cry—no joyful news.
    For months no flash of mighty "flukes,"
    No lashing of the forked tail,
    Were seen across the watery space,—
    No joyful gambols of the whale.
    The captain restless paced the deck,
    The crew in forecastle would sleep;
    The furnace fires were all unlit,
    And life was dreary o'er the deep;
    Only the porpoise school would rise,
    The great shark flash across the main,
    The dolphin whirl athwart the bow,
    The sword-fish-cleave the billowy plain.

    But sudden, from the black mast-head,
    A welcome salutation rose:
    "Sharp on the starboard beam she spouts,"
    "Broad on the larboard bow she blows!"
    And instant on that idle deck
    Was shout of men and tramp of feet;
    Harpoon and lance from rack were torn,
    And eyes would flash and hearts would beat.
    "Down with the boats!" the captain spoke;
    "Down boats! and tumble in, my men!"
    And quick the sturdy oars were out,
    The oarsmen straining to the stroke;
    With steady pull they manful swept,
    Harpooner poising at the prow,
    The helmsman cheering at the stern,
    The sharp stem cleaving like a plow.

    Right soon beside that dusky bulk,
    The huge leviathan of the deep,
    That little weather-beaten boat
    In swift, heroic charge did sweep.
    Then harpoon, with gigantic strength,
    Prone on that living wall was cast;
    "Stern all!" the cry; "Back oars, my men!"
    And backing oars made frantic haste.
    Then with a plunge (while spots of blood
    Redden'd the wave) sank down the whale,
    Cleaving the billows with his head,
    Lashing the foam with flourish'd tail.
    Then swift across the whale-boat's prow
    Whistled the smoking, flying line;
    While thousand fathoms deep the prey
    Dropt in abysses of the brine,
    But quick the monstrous bulk arose,
    Like balloon springing up in air;
    And quick the deadly lance was thrust,
    And the great prize roll'd helpless there.

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