Well, well, ye sulkies, there’s plenty more of us. Hoe corn when you may, say I. All legs go to harvest soon. Ah! here comes the music; now for it!
Azore sailor (Ascending, and pitching the tambourine up the scuttle.)
Here you are, Pip; and there’s the windlass-bits; up you mount! Now, boys!
(The half of them dance to the tambourine; some go below; some sleep or lie among the coils of rigging. Oaths a-plenty.)
Azore sailor (Dancing)
Go it, Pip! Bang it, bell-boy! Rig it, dig it, stig it, quig it, bell-boy! Make fire-flies; break the jinglers!
Jinglers, you say?—there goes another, dropped off; I pound it so.
Rattle thy teeth, then, and pound away; make a pagoda of thyself.
Merry-mad! Hold up thy hoop, Pip, till I jump
Split jibs! tear yourselves! Tashtego ( Quietly smoking.)
That’s a white man; he calls that fun: humph! I save my sweat.
I wonder whether those jolly lads bethink them of what they are dancing over. I’ll dance over your grave, I will—that’s the bitterest threat of your night-women, that beat head-winds round corners. O Christ! to think of the green navies and the green-skulled crews! Well, well; belike the whole world’s a ball, as you scholars have it; and so ’tis right to make one ballroom of it. Dance on, lads, you’re young; I was once.
3D Nantucket sailor
Spell oh!—whew! this is worse than pulling after whales in a calm— give us a whiff, Tash.
(They cease dancing, and gather in clusters. Meantime the sky darkens— the wind rises.)
By Brahma! boys, it’ll be douse sail soon. The sky-born, high-tide Ganges turned to wind! Thou showest thy black brow, Seeva!
Maltese sailor (Reclining and shaking his cap)
It’s the waves—the snow’s caps turn to jig it now. They’ll shake their tassels soon. Now would all the waves were women, then I’d go drown, and chassee with them evermore! There’s naught so sweet on earth—heaven may not match it!— as those swift glances of warm, wild bosoms in the dance, when the over-arboring arms hide such ripe, bursting grapes.
Sicilian sailor (Reclining)
Tell me not of it! Hark ye, lad—fleet interlacings of the limbs— lithe swayings—coyings—flutterings! lip! heart! hip! all graze: unceasing touch and go! not taste, observe ye, else come satiety. Eh, Pagan? (Nudging.)