Oh, you who read some song that I have sung —
What know you of the soul from whence it sprung?

Dost dream the poet ever speaks aloud
His secret thought unto the listening crowd?

Go take the murmuring sea-shell from the shore-
You have its shape, its colour — and no more.

It tells not one of those vast mysteries
That lie beneath the surface of the seas.

Our songs are shells, cast out by waves of thought;
Here, take them at your pleasure; but think not

You’ve seen the beneath the surface of the waves,
Where lie our shipwrecks, and our coral caves.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Ella Wheeler Wilcox's poem Introductory Verses

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