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Finding Melville’s Whale: Chapter 7 – The Chapel

Chapter 7 of the classic Moby Dick by Herman Melville, summarized in verse. Read along with us and discuss this chapter or the book as a whole in the comments.

The Chapel

Few are the fishermen who fail to pray
on the eve of their voyage. The chapel,
built for the whalemen, the wives, and widows,

bears marble tributes to their history.
One boy lost overboard, six towed away
by the whale they hunted, Captain Hardy

Killed by a sperm whale. Ishmael finds Queequeg.
They sit solemnly, pondering the mass.
Why, in the resurrection, can the dead

tell no tales, the immortal soul so feared?
“Faith, like a jackal, feeds among the tombs”,
like an oyster gazing through Snell’s window.


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


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