Moby Dick Chapter 51 The Spirit Spout
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/2701/270 ... m#2HCH0051
Rounding the tormented seas of the Cape of Good Hope, a whale watch is kept atop the mast at night.
Like a teasing taunting mocking Star of Bethlehem, Moby Dick is seen, or imagined, spouting before them at night like a white phantom, luring the Pequod to its fate.
This midnight-spout ... was again announced: again it was descried by all; but upon making sail to overtake it, once more it disappeared as if it had never been. And so it served us night after night, till no one heeded it but to wonder at it. Mysteriously jetted into the clear moonlight, or starlight, as the case might be; disappearing again for one whole day, or two days, or three; and somehow seeming at every distinct repetition to be advancing still further and further in our van, this solitary jet seemed for ever alluring us on.
... seamen who swore ... that unnearable spout was cast by one self-same whale; and that whale, Moby Dick. For a time, there reigned, too, a sense of peculiar dread at this flitting apparition, as if it were treacherously beckoning us on and on, in order that the monster might turn round upon us, and rend us at last in the remotest and most savage seas. ... for days and days we voyaged along, through seas so wearily, lonesomely mild, that all space, in repugnance to our vengeful errand, seemed vacating itself of life
Coleridge anyone? ... a painted ship: Upon a painted ocean, but not in the doldrums,