THE MALDIVE SHARK
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,
An asylum in the 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.
Hear Herman Melville read 'The Maldive Shark'