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Father Mapple's Hymn, from Moby Dick
by Herman Melville

American novelist, poet and short story writer.

Best known for his novels of the sea including Moby Dick (1851). His other works include Typee (1846), Omoo (1847), White-Jacket (1850), Pierre, or the Ambiguities (1852), Israel Potter: His Fifty Years of Exile (1855), the satirical The Confidence-Man: His Masquerade (1857), four collections of verse including Timoleon (1891) and a number of sketches and short stories for magazines, some of which were collected in The Piazza Tales (1856).


Father Mapple's Hymn, from Moby Dick
by Herman Melville

...in prolonged solemn tones, like the continual tolling of a bell in a ship
that is foundering at sea in a fog -in such tones he commenced reading the
following hymn....

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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