Today I saw the captured whale,
And viewed it all, except the tail,
Which was too much submerged in water
For me to see it--but what matter;
I saw enough to cause conviction
That every tale is not a fiction,
For oft I've told a truthful tale,
Yet people said "'twas like a whale."
This whale, three Irish perches long,
Which I considered great and strong,
Was but a small one--I was told--
And scarcely yet a twelvemonth old.
Methinks a few such little fishes
Would more than fill five thousand dishes;
Besides, if whales were good for food,
This one would serve a multitude,
Say fifteen hundred, if you wish
Give each a cubic foot of fish,
This little whale would serve your need
These fifteen hundred men to feed.
But Nature, both by sea and land,
Deals dainties with a niggard hand;
For legal fish, with fins and scales,
Are puny things compared with whales.
Just fancy this great mass of matter
Alive and plunging through the water!
Then think, could aught the courage quail
Of him who dares to hook a whale.
The Druid found this lucky prize,
And towed it up to where it lies;
Its back all blistered, skinn'd and bare--
Its awful mouth--its teeth of hair--
Its tongue, so greasy, soft and black,
And larger than a miller's sack--
Its belly, lank, and almost shocking,
Grooved like a ridge-and-furrow stocking--
Enough to say, I saw the whale,
Which I considered rather stale,
And like to news not told in time,
Or like my rather fishy rhyme.