The world was like a shell to me,--
Its voice with distant song was low;
But now its mysteries I know:
I hear the turmoil of the sea.
The whirling, soft, and tender sound
That meant I knew not what of lore,--
I dream its mystery now no more:
Its reckless meaning I have found.
O shell! I held thee to my ears
When I was young, and smiled with pride
To stand aglow at marvel's side!
O world, thy voice is wild with tears!
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