By Leah Bodine Drake
Stranded upon the sand
Here is a twisted shell:
Lift it within your hand,
Press it against your ear;
Listen! . . . and you will hear
Echo of deep-sea bell
Ringing in belfry beneath the brine,
Where mermaidens, scaled with tourmaline,
Toll a dolorous knell.
Tis the voice of a city beneath the sea!
Gold-eyed fishes stare endlessly
At turrets and ramparts of porphyry
Drowned in a gold-green well.
Who built that city forlorn?
What was its perilous fame
That tymbal and gong and horn
Blared from the torch-lit wall?
When did its doom befall?
What was the reason it came
Crashing down over palace and keep,
A sea that rose like a mountain steep,
Quenching the living flame?
Hark!. . . do the sea-shell's echoes tell
The name of that city before she fell?
Ah, no! I can hear its cry, its bell,
But never its fabulous name!