The Mast-Head


"Let me make a clean breast of it here, and frankly admit that I kept but sorry guard."

"And let me in this place movingly admonish you, ye ship-owners of Nantucket! Beware of enlisting in your vigilant fisheries any lad with lean brow and hollow eye; given to unseasonable meditativeness; and who offers to ship with the Phaedon instead of Bowditch in his head."

gg gg

"...but lulled into such an opium-like listlessness of vacant, unconscious reverie is this absent-minded youth by the blending cadence of waves with thoughts, that at last he loses his identity; takes the mystic ocean at his feet for the visible image of that deep , blue, bottomless soul, pervading mankind and nature..."

"But while this sleep, this dream is on ye, move your foot or hand an inch, slip your hold at all; and your identity come back in horror. Over Descartian vortices you hover." ch35