Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. V. Nature
Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume V. Nature.  1904.
VII. The Sea
The Shell
Walter Savage Landor (1775–1864)
From “Gebir,” Book I.

I AM not daunted, no; I will engage.
But first, said she, what wager will you lay?
A sheep, I answered, add whate’er you will.
I cannot, she replied, make that return:
Our hided vessels in their pitchy round        5
Seldom, unless from rapine, hold a sheep.
But I have sinuous shells of pearly hue
Within, and they that lustre have imbibed
In the Sun’s palace-porch, where when unyoked
His chariot-wheel stands midway in the wave:        10
Shake one and it awakens, then apply
Its polisht lips to your attentive ear
And it remembers its august abodes,
And murmurs as the ocean murmurs there.

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