The Daily Dick: Musings From the Greatest Novel Ever
"Time was, when as the sunrise nobly spurred me, so the sunset soothed. No more. This lovely light, it lights not me; all loveliness is anguish to me, since I can ne’er enjoy. Gifted with the high perception, I lack the low, enjoying power; damned, most subtly and most malignantly! damned in the midst of Paradise!"
Musing: This is a rare monologue by Ahab. The lines always remind me of Wordsworth's Intimations of Immortality: "There was a time when meadow, grove, and stream,/The earth, and every common sight, to me did seem appareled in celestial light. /The glory and the freshness of a dream. It is not now as it hath been of yore;— Turn wheresoe'er I may, By night or day. The things which I have seen I now can see no more." It is a terrible feeling to recognize joy, but not be able to feel it. Ahab can only think of the whale - the revenge - the mission. He is casting aside the beauty of the world.