Stories of American Life and Adventure - Edward Eggleston

A Whaling Song

Part of a Favorite Song Sung by Whalemen in Old Times

When spring returns with western gales,

And gentle breezes sweep

The ruffling seas, we spread our sails

To plow the watery deep.

Cape Cod, our dearest native land,

We leave astern, and lose

Its sinking cliffs and less'ning sands,

While Zephyr gently blows.

Now toward the early dawning east

We speed our course away,

With eager minds and joyful hearts,

To meet the rising day.

Then, as we turn our wondering eyes,

We view one constant show,—

Above, around, the circling skies,

The rolling seas below.

When eastward, clear of Newfoundland,

We stem the frozen pole,

We see the icy islands stand,

The northern billows roll.

Now see the northern regions where

Eternal winter reigns;

One day and night fills up the year,

And endless cold maintains.

We view the monsters of the deep,

Great whales in numerous swarms,

And creatures there, that play and leap,

Of strange, unusual forms.

When in our station we are placed,

And whales around us play,

We launch our boats into the main,

And swiftly chase our prey.