By Hayford Harrison, Alma A. MacDougall, Hershel Parker, G. Thomas Tanselle
Melville’s lengthy poem Clarel: A Poem and Pilgrimage within the Holy Land (1876) was once the final full-length ebook he released. till the mid-twentieth century even the main partisan of Melville’s advocates hesitated to undergo a four-part poem of one hundred fifty cantos and virtually 18,000 traces a few naive American named Clarel, on pilgrimage during the Palestinian ruins with a provocative cluster of partners. yet sleek critics have chanced on Clarel a higher poem than used to be ever discovered. Robert Penn Warren known as it a precursor of The Waste Land. It abounds with revelations of Melville’s internal existence. such a lot strikingly, it's argued that the nature Vine is a portrait of Melville’s buddy Nathaniel Hawthorne. Clarel is without doubt one of the most complicated theological explorations of religion and doubt in all of yankee literature, and this version brings Melville’s poem to new lifestyles.
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Additional resources for The writings of Herman Melville, Volume 12
Bezanson 505 HISTORICAL SUPPLEMENT • By Hershel Parker 639 TEXTUAL RECORD Note on the Text 675 Discussions 703 List of Emendations 841 RELATED DOCUMENTS Melville’s Annotated Copy of Clarel 849 Elizabeth Shaw Melville’s Copies of Clarel 865 The ‘‘Ditty of Aristippus” Manuscript 867 Parallel Passages in Clarel and Melville’s 1856-57 Journal 871 Melville’s “Monody”: For Hawthorne? 883 Page xiv If during the period in which this work has remained unpublished, though not undivulged, any of its properties have by a natural process exhaled; it yet retains, I trust, enough of original life to redeem it at least from vapidity.
115 “The Palmer replies: ‘‘Nay, naught thou nam’st thy servant brings, Only Judæa my feet did roam; And mainly there the pilgrim clings About the precincts of Christ’s tomb. ” O’er true thy gift (thought Clarel). Well, Scarce might the world accept, ’twould seem. But I, shall I my feet impel 125 Through road like thine and naught redeem? — Thought’s burden! on the couch he throws Himself and it—rises, and goes 130 To peer from casement. ’Twas moonlight, With stars, the Olive Hill in sight, Distinct, yet dreamy in repose, As of Katahdin in hot noon, Lonely, with all his pines in swoon.
What altars old in cluster rare And grotto-shrines engird the Tomb: Caves and a crag; and more is there; And halls monastic join their gloom. 20 To sum in comprehensive bounds The Passion’s drama with its grounds, Immense the temple winds and strays Finding each storied precinct out— Absorbs the sites all roundabout— 25 Omnivorous, and a world of maze. And yet time was when all here stood Separate, and from rood to rood, Chapel to shrine, or tent to tent, Unsheltered still the pilgrim went 30 Where now enroofed the whole coheres— Where now thro’ influence of years And spells by many a legend lent, A sort of nature reappears— Sombre or sad, and much in tone 35 Perhaps with that which here was known Of yore, when from this Salem height, Then sylvan in primeval plight, Page 13 Down came to Shaveh’s Dale, with wine And bread, after the four Kings’ check, 40 The Druid priest Melchizedek, Abram to bless with rites divine.