HARPOONEERS AND SAILORS (Foresail rises and discovers the watch standing, lounging, leaning, and lying in various attitudes, all singing in chorus.)
Farewell and adieu to you, Spanish ladies! Farewell and adieu to you, ladies of Spain! Our captain's commanded.-
NANTUCKET SAILOR Oh, boys, don't be sentimental. it's bad for the
digestion! Take a tonic, follow me! (Sings, and all follow) Our captain
stood upon the deck, A spy-glass in his hand, A viewing of those gallant
whales That blew at every strand. Oh, your tubs in your boats, my boys,
And by your braces stand, And we'll have one of those fine whales,
Hand, boys, over hand! So, be cheery, my lads! may your hearts never
fail! While the bold harpooneer is striking the whale!
MATE'S VOICE FROM THE QUARTER-DECK Eight bells there, forward!
NANTUCKET SAILOR Avast the chorus! Eight bells there! d'ye hear,
bell-boy? Strike the bell eight, thou Pip! thou blackling! and let me
call the watch. I've the sort of mouth for that- the hogshead mouth. So,
so, (thrusts his head down the scuttle,) Star-bo-l-e-e-n-s, a-h-o-y!
Eight bells there below! Tumble up!
DUTCH SAILOR Grand snoozing
to-night, maty; fat night for that. I mark this in our old Mogul's wine;
it's quite as deadening to some as filliping to others. We sing; they
sleep- aye, lie down there, like ground-tier butts. At 'em again! There,
take this copper-pump, and hail 'em through it. Tell 'em to avast
dreaming of their lassies. Tell 'em it's the resurrection; they must
kiss their last, and come to judgment. That's the way- that's it; thy
throat ain't spoiled with eating Amsterdam butter.
Strange that I find myself in the same predicament as the sailors in this chapter--being forced out of sleep to keep watch through the rest of the night. They are stirred from their dreams of home and mothers and girls. Called to ascend into the salt air of ocean and stars. And they come, grumbling, the dream bodies of their loves still pressing against them in the dark.
I, myself, have been fighting this lethargy for most of the day. This afternoon and tonight, I taught. Won't be getting home until almost sundown, most likely. The weekend's festivities are catching up with me today. The emotion of my daughter going to prom. Book Club and The Bell Jar last night. It seems like I accomplished a lot and very little at the same time.
The most I have to show for my weekend efforts is a sore neck and a headache that won't go away. I thinks it's linked to stress. I could barely turn my head when I woke up on Sunday. I've been popping ibuprofen ever since. These are the last two weeks of the semester, so I'm in the throes of impending final exams. Students are panicking. Just this afternoon, I had three students come in during my office hours. That's a 300% increase from all of last month.
Right now, the ibuprofen is kicking in. My headache is abating. My neck ache has disappeared. After I'm done typing this blog post, I may simply go to bed. Or I may fall asleep on the couch. Or I may have to drive my daughter's boyfriend home, THEN snooze on the couch, and THEN go to bed.
Saint Marty is thankful tonight for good medication.