I look down deep and do believe
(Ahab) “Oh, grassy glades! oh, ever vernal endless landscapes in the soul; in ye,–though long parched by the dead drought of the earthly life,–in ye, men yet may roll, like young horses in new morning clover; and for some few fleeting moments, feel the cool dew of life immortal in them. Would to God these blessed calms would last. But the mingled, mingling threads of life are woven by warp and woff; calms crossed by storms, a storm for every calm. There is no stead unretracing progress in this life; we do not advance through fixed graduations, and at the last one pause:–through infancy’s unconscious spell, boyhood’s thoughtless faith, adolescence’s doubt (the common doom), then skepticism, then disbelief, resting at last in manhood’s pondering repose of If. But once gone through, we trace the round again; and are infants, boys, and men, and Ifs eternally. Where lies the final harbor, whence we unmoor no more? In what rapt ether sails the world, of which the weariest will never weary? Where is the foundling’s father hidden? Our souls are like those orphans whose unwedded mothers die in bearing them: the secret of our paternity lies in their grave, and we must there to learn it.”
And the same day, too, gazing far down from his boat’s side into that same golden sea. Starbuck lowly murmured:–“Loveliness unfathomable, as ever lover saw in his young bride’s eye!–Tell me not of thy teeth-tiered sharks, and thy kidnapping cannibal ways. Let faith oust fact; let fancy oust memory; I look deep down and do believe.”
Tomorrow is Herman Melville’s birthday, so take a break today and read some Moby-Dick!