A Tale of Old New England

An island off the coast of Massachusetts
Was home and birthplace to a man whose name
Was…Richard? Ishmael? It’s just no use. It’s
Melville’s curse: The whale gets all the fame.
This gentleman of whom we know so little
Acquired a certain measure of renown
As answer to a local fishing riddle:
Who owns the largest tackle set in town?
He rarely left his home, but through the curtain
Neighbors sometimes spied him in his chair
Playing…oboe? Clarinet? It’s certain
He practiced woodwinds faithfully in there.
The reason, so they say, he never wed
Was that his claim to fame went to his head.