247 words • 1~2 min read

Finding Melville’s Whale: Chapter 19 – The Prophet

Chapter 19 of Herman Melville’s classic – Moby Dick. Read along with us and discuss this chapter or the book as a whole in the comments. Visit this page for the complete collection to date: Finding Melville’s Whale.

The Prophet

“Shipmates have yea shipped?” the poxed old man asked
Ishmael and Queequeg as they disembarked
from the Pequod. Yes, their papers are signed.

Then so are your souls, if you have any,
is the shabby prophet’s accusation.
Most whalers do not, it’s wasted on them.

But Old Thunder has enough soul to spare.
Obey him, for he lay dead for three days
before rising, his leg lost to the beast.

The prophet looks upon them with pity.
Turning to leave, Ishmael asks for his name.
Elijah, the lonely prophet replied.


Deep-sea biologist, population/conservation geneticist, backyard farm advocate. The deep sea is Earth's last great wilderness.


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