Herman Melville was an American novelist, short story writer, essayist, and poet. He is best known for his novel Moby-Dick. His first three books gained much contemporary attention (the first, Typee, becoming a bestseller), and after a fast-blooming literary success in the late 1840s, his popularity declined precipitously in the mid-1850s and never recovered during his lifetime. When he died in 1891, he was almost completely forgotten. It was not until the "Melville Revival" in the early 20th century that his work won recognition, especially Moby-Dick, which was hailed as one of the literary masterpieces of both American and world literature. He was the first writer to have his ... more »
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Herman Melville Poems
I Where the wings of a sunny Dome expand I saw a Banner in gladsome air-
Gold In The Mountain
Gold in the mountain, And gold in the glen, And greed in the heart, Heaven having no part,
O Pride of the days in prime of the months Now trebled in great renown, When before the ark of our holy cause Fell Dagon down-
In placid hours well-pleased we dream Of many a brave unbodied scheme. But form to lend, pulsed life create, What unlike things must meet and mate:
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.
When ocean-clouds over inland hills Sweep storming in late autumn brown, And horror the sodden valley fills, And the spire falls crashing in the town,
Shiloh - A Requiem
Skimming lightly, wheeling still, The swallows fly low Over the field in clouded days, The forest-field of Shiloh --
Good Friday was the day Of the prodigy and crime,
Hanging from the beam, Slowly swaying (such the law), Gaunt the shadow on the green, Shenandoah!
Healed Of My Hurt
What power disbands the Northern Lights After their steely play?
The Berg (A Dream)
I saw a ship of material build (Her standards set, her brave apparel on) Directed as by madness mere Against a solid iceberg steer,
We fish, we fish, we merrily swim, We care not for friend nor for foe. Our fins are stout, Our tails are out,
How often in the years that close, When truce had stilled the sieging gun, The soldiers, mounting on their works,
Quotationsmore quotations »
''The god Janus never had two more decidedly different faces than your sea captain.''Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. "Etchings of a Whaling Cruise" (1847), The Piazza Tales and Other Prose Pieces 1839-1860, The Writings of He...
''If not against us, nature is not for us.''Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Mardi (1849), ch. 69, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 3, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G....
''Surely a gentle sister is the second best gift to a man; and it is first in point of occurrence; for the wife comes after.''Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Pierre (1852), bk. I, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 7, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G....
Let us speak, though we show all our faults and weaknesses,for it is a sign of strength to be weak, to know it, and out with it,not in a set way and ostentatiously, though, but incidentall...Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Letter, June 29, 1851, to Nathaniel Hawthorne. The Letters of Herman Melville, eds. Merrell R. Davis and Wil...
''Indolence is heaven's ally here,Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. poet, novelist. Fragments of a Lost Gnostic Poem of the Twelfth Century (l. 5-8). . . Selected Poems of Herman M...
And energy the child of hell:
The Good Man pouring from his pitcher clear
But brims the poisoned well.''
Comments about Herman Melville
Where the wings of a sunny Dome expand
I saw a Banner in gladsome air-
Starry, like Berenice's Hair-
Afloat in broadened bravery there;
With undulating long-drawn flow,
As rolled Brazilian billows go
Voluminously o'er the Line.
The Land reposed in peace below;
The children in their glee
Were folded to the exulting heart
Of young Maternity.
Later, and it streamed in fight
When tempest mingled with the fray,
And over the spear-point of the shaft
I saw the ambiguous lightning play.
Valor with Valor strove, and died: