The Advocate (Moby Dick – Chapter 24)
Would you love me somewhat more if I’d gone to Harvard or Yale
and wore a black vest
over a slim frame to match
the slightly drooping eyes
upon a face with complexion
more on the pale side?
Were I not a whaler would you stand with me more proudly at social events,
soirees where men and women
waltz then sip their drinks
or else engage in conversations
in which they discuss the world’s events
in tones that bounce and ring upon the walls
like static in the air so exquisitely?
Yet a whaler is what I am,
hunting down greater water mammals
with their meat and oil
for your daily use in the boudoir
and as margarine for your bread
and to light the lamps
we blow out when it’s late
and we’re too tired to read
and it’s time to undress and go to bed.
Would that I were suave and working
in the world of finance and the selling
and trading of shares but
remind you that my livelihood
is not made down in the dirt
but on the seas
and that the essence of my blood
is as royal as the ocean is deep.
Let us then take our time tonight
going to sleep upon these white sheets.
Let our love be protracted.
Let us prosper.