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John Bartlett (1820–1905). Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. 1919.

5058 William Wordsworth 1770-1850 John Bartlett

AUTHOR:William Wordsworth (1770–1850)
QUOTATION:I have seen
A curious child, who dwelt upon a tract
Of inland ground, applying to his ear
The convolutions of a smooth-lipped shell,
To which, in silence hushed, his very soul
Listened intensely; and his countenance soon
Brightened with joy, for from within were heard
Murmurings, whereby the monitor expressed
Mysterious union with his native sea. 1
ATTRIBUTION:The Excursion.Book iv.
WORKS:William Wordsworth Collection.
Note 1.
But I have sinuous shell of pearly hue;
. . . . .
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.
Walter Savage Landor: Gebir, book v. [back]