an autobiography: northwards
This is the first edition, 25th
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Cover illustration by Siriluck Kedseemake
From an idea by Thomas Albert Fox
To explain the nature of fishes in craft of verse‑
And first, the Great Whale. A grim purpose is his;
Mariners often find him against their will
Floating on eternal ocean.
His name is Fastitocolon,
His coat is like rough stone,
Like a huge sea-knot of wrack, ringed with sand-dunes,
That floats by the shore.
Now when the wave-borne men trust their eyes for an island,
And moor their high-beaked ships to the fraudy shore,
Tether their sea-horses at the brink of the ocean
And roam up the island to explore:
While the keels lie at the tide-mark
The tired sailors make their camp,
They wake a fire on the Island,
Happy are the men, and tired‑glad to encamp.
But he is crafty and treacherous; when he feels
The travellers properly planted and set
Taking the pretty weather‑
Darts the oceanic animal,
And locks drowning in the hall of death
Both ships and souls!