Of that which Melville spake by Ishmael,
Wandering white-swelled sea for Greater White,
Wondering why… such things should come so queer,
“The consternation in the other world
As of mortal trepidation here.”
Not of the death his fear did gnaw
But of the pallor… the pallor… marble pallor
Definitively crushing hope of re-bloomed love
Or re-gained valor…
To remind the body, empty eyeballs,
We steal that sickly shade and wrap the corpse
Lest it forget how cold it feel
Compared to when it coursed with sap.
But stretch ye the cotton just for fun
‘Else the spiders make a makeshift one.
Thus do thine ghosts rise ‘neath that mantle
Spreading shivers all around.
They fly, they fly! in cotton shrouds
Out ghostly clouds of white, of white!
Confounded spirits in terror fright!
They come at night when dark is best
As chaos is known to reign in blackness,
For what would they be against the light
Where all converge unto the white?
What is the whiteness, the blankness vacuumed?
And as the world is as continuous
In its disorganizing omnibus,
I have no doubt left me imbued
The mortal end, our Armagedd’, shall leave us
In the white—the skies no longer hued.
So dress-up children, be brightly clad,
And in such colors deny such dullness
Or else the white ‘ould me quite mad.
Douse your pumpkins on Hallow’s Eve;
Let silky wisps of white to come
And dance around your form and play;
Think their misfortunes while you pray.
And, fear you not of spectre white;
It’s All Saints’ Day ‘pon morning light!
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