Printer Friendly Version



The Chambered Nautilus

By Oliver Wendell Holmes

 

 

This is the ship of pearl, which, poets feign,

Sails the unshadowed main-

The venturous bark that flings

On the sweet summer wind its purpled wings

In gulfs enchanted, where the Siren sings.

And coral reefs lie bare,

Where the cold sea-maids rise to sun their streaming hair.

Its webs of living gauze no more unfurl;

Wrecked is the ship of pearl!

And every chambered cell,

Where its dim dreaming life was wont to dwell,

As the frail tenant shaped his growing shell,

Before thee lies revealed-

Its irised ceiling rent, its sunless crypt unsealed!

Year after year beheld the silent toil

That spread his lustrous coil;

Still, as the spiral grew,

He left the past year's dwelling for the new,

Stole with soft step its shining archway through,

Built up its idle door,

Stretched in his last-found home, and knew the old no more.

Thanks for the heavenly message brought by thee,

Child of the wandering sea,

Cast from her lap, forlorn!

From thy dead lips a clearer note is born

Than ever Triton blew from wreathed horn!

While on mine ear it rings,

Through the deep caves of thought I hear a voice that sings:

Build thee more stately mansions, O my soul,

As the swift seasons roll!

Leave thy low-vaulted past!

Let each new temple, nobler than the last,

Shut thee from heaven with a dome more vast,

Till thou at length are free,

Leaving thine outgrown shell by life's unresting sea!

 

Return to Home Page

Contact Us

 

FREE Executive E-Briefing

A monthly update of things you need to know - brief articles with valuable insights coupled with practical tools and actionable tips.

Topics include Leadership, Management, Change, Strategic Thinking, Teams, Hiring, and more. Add to your wisdom and effectiveness in just 10 minutes a month!

Click Here to Subscribe

 

Marie J. Kane, President

240 Huntcliff Ct. Fayetteville, Ga. 30214
www.executiveevolution.com
Phone (770) 461-3820
Fax (770) 461-0041
Contact Us

Copyright 2002-2004, Marie J. Kane, All Rights Reserved
Use of this site is subject to the following terms of use.

Click here to view our privacy policy.

This site is designed and maintained by:

 

770-461-3820