Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, JONAH'S SONG, FR. MOBY DICK, by HERMAN MELVILLE



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JONAH'S SONG, FR. MOBY DICK, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: The ribs and terrors in the whale
Last Line: His all the mercy and the power.
Variant Title(s): Father Mapple's Hymn
Subject(s): Bible; Religion; Whales; Theology


The ribs and terrors in the whale,
Arched over me a dismal gloom,
While all God's sun-lit waves rolled by,
And lift me deepening down to doom.

I saw the opening maw of hell,
With endless pains and sorrows there;
Which none but they that feel can tell --
Oh, I was plunging to despair.

In black distress, I called my God,
When I could scarce believe him mine,
He bowed his ear to my complaints --

No more the whale did me confine.
With speed he flew to my relief,
As on a radiant dolphin borne;
Awful, yet bright, as lightning shone
The face of my Deliverer God.

My song for ever shall record
That terrible, that joyful hour;
I give the glory to my God,
His all the mercy and the power.





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