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The Maldive Shark
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).


The Maldive Shark
by Herman Melville

About the Shark, phlegmatical one,
Pale sot of the Maldive sea,
The sleek little pilot-fish, azure and slim,
How alert in attendance be.
From his saw-pit of mouth, from his charnel of maw,
They have nothing of harm to dread,
But liquidly glide on his ghastly flank
Or before his Gorgonian head;
Or lurk in the port of serrated teeth
In white triple tiers of glittering gates,
And there find a haven when peril's abroad,
And asylum in jaws of the Fates!
They are friends; and friendly they guide him to prey,
Yet never partake of the treat -
Eyes and brains to the dotard lethargic and dull,
Pale ravener of horrible meat


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