Monday, January 3, 2011

Whaler Acushnet, Leaving New Bedford

William Walcott and NB Waterfront in ''Down to the Sea in Ships.''(1922)

That it is a winter morning
means nothing to the outgoing swell.

It is assumed that Envy disembarks
When the last line
Is sopped aboard and
That covetous Regret
Stands on the oil-stained wharf
Inhaling the acrid sourness
Of a barrel gone to waste.

We light the world.

Machinations of the fishery mock
Such chimera --
South Sea
cannibals
Audacious pyrates --
Vain fictions unsuited to the counting
house
Will not be entered into the ledgers.

We light the world.


170 years ago today, Herman Melville left New Bedford on the Acushnet, to harvest whales.

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