280 words • 1~2 min read

Finding Melville’s Whale: Knights and Squires (Chapter 26 and 27)

Chapter 26 and 27 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.

Knights and Squires

A fearless man is far more dangerous,
and the first mate, Starbuck, will take no man
into his boat that does not fear the whale.
          For his harpooner, he choses Queequeg.
          The knight, Starbuck, with Queequeg’s spear.

To be so comfortable with destruction
that danger is met with indifference
is to be the second mate, careless Stubb.
          For his harpooner, tawny Tashtego.
          Sir Stubb with Tashtego’s arrows.

Last is a man fashioned of wrought iron,
hunting for fun, no reverence for whales.
Flask, third among the crew, built to endure.
          For his harpooner, the giant Daggoo.
          The empty Flask with Daggoo’s arms.

These were the knights, the whaling men,
and their squires, their harpooners.
Each stands alone on their island,
Together on the Pequod’s deck.

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

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