The Shell Poem by Jose Maria de Heredia

The Shell

Rating: 2.6


In what cold seas, under what winters' reign,
- Who can e'er know, O nacreous, fragile Shell! -
Hast thou through current, wave and tidal swell,
In shallows and abysses restless lain?

Today thou hast, far from the ebbing main,
Soft bed in golden sand, 'neath sky to dwell.
Vain hope: full long and sad, within thy cell
Still ever sounds great ocean's mournful strain.

My soul sonorous prison-chamber lies,
And like thyself forever weeps and sighs
Refrain of ancient clamor to be free;

So from the heart-depths all too full of Her,
Deaf, slow, insensible, yet deathless e'er,
The stormy, distant murmur moans in me.

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