Sweet and soft and soothing sounds
sing silent in the deep
as Leviathan makes her lullabies
and tells her children sleep.
Sleep, sleep, angels of the deep;
let nothing break your reverie.
For longer lives will keep
In blissful cold harmony
Than far up, above and over
the abyssal plain of home,
where simple, sinful soldiers sever
fin from fat and soul from bone.
Think not with spirits pure
of straying from your bed,
For mother’s wrath is hard to bear,
even worse if you are dead.
I wrote this poem in English 160, Robert Maniquis’s class on the early Romantics, while we were learning about Blake. Hence the Blakesian tone and imagery. The poem is original; the subject matter is simply my own conecption of what whales would sing to their children about, considering that the majority of human fairy tales and nursery rhymes are somewhat dark (as are, it seems to me, many lullabies). It is not intended as a commentary on whaling.