Long ago, and far below the sea's gigantic gale,
Meranda lived -- a mermaid with a most becoming tail.
Her face was sweet and merry, and her voice, enchanting,
As it mingled, light and airy, with the ocean's somber
King Neptune heard and was so stirred, he called his
"I want to keep Meranda's song! It must not die!" said
"Come, wizard and magician! Show your skill and your
And grant the wish I'm wishin'! Catch this lovely song
The wisest of the wizards did not have to ponder long.
Said he with verve, "A shell will serve to hold Meranda's
His brothers cried, "Be quiet! You're a fool! You can't
But the king replied, "Let's try it! This will prove him
right or wrong!"
Meranda, then, began again her captivating art.
She held a shell and sang to it while Neptune stood
She charmed the king completely with the tune she trilled
so sweetly --
And the shell retained it neatly in its iridescent heart.
Go find a shell and listen well and tell me what you
Though wave and wind have dimmed and thinned that
singing, once so clear,
Through walls of pink and yellow you will hear the
ocean's cello . . .
And a murmur, soft and mellow, will whisper in your ear.