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/ "Speak, thou vast and venerable head,"  \
| muttered Ahab, "which, though           |
| ungarnished with a beard, yet here and  |
| there lookest hoary with mosses; speak, |
| mighty head, and tell us the secret     |
| thing that is in thee. Of all divers,   |
| thou has dived the deepest. That head   |
| upon which the upper sun now gleams has |
| moved amid the world's foundations.     |
| Where unrecorded names and navies rust, |
| and untold hopes and anchors rot; where |
| in her murderous hold this frigate      |
| earth is ballasted with bones of        |
| millions of the drowned; there, in that |
| awful water-land, there was thy most    |
| familiar home. Thou hast been where     |
| bell or diver never went; has slept by  |
| many a sailer's side, where sleepless   |
| mothers would give their lives to lay   |
| them down. Thou saw'st the locked       |
| lovers when leaping from their flaming  |
| ship; heart to heart they sank beneath  |
| the exulting wave; true to each other,  |
| when heaven seemed false to them. Thou  |
| saw'st the murdered mate when tossed by |
| pirates from the midnight deck; for     |
| hours he fell into the deeper midnight  |
| of the insatiate maw; and his murderers |
| still sailed on unharmed -- while swift |
| lightnings shivered the neighboring     |
| ship that would have borne a righteous  |
| husband to outstretched, longing arms.  |
| O head! thou has seen enough to split   |
| the planets and make an infidel of      |
| Abraham, and not one syllable is        |
| thine!"                                 |
|                                         |
\ -- H. Melville, "Moby Dick"             /
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