A Shell

Darling Shell, where hast thou been,
What far regions hast thou seen;
From what pastimes art thou come:
Can we make amends at home?

Whether thou hast tuned the dance
To the maids of ocean,
Know I not—but Ignorance
Never hurts Devotion—

This I know, my darling Shell,
I shall ever love thee well,
Though too little to resound
While the Nereids dance around;

For, of all the shells that are,
Thou art sure the brightest:
Thou, Ianthe's infant care,
Most these eyes delightest—

Earlier to whose aid she owes
Teeth like budding snowdrop rows;
Teeth, whose love-incited pow'rs,
I have felt in happier hours.

On my shoulder, on my neck,
Still the cherisht mark remains,
Well pourtray'd in many a speck
Round thy smooth and quiet veins.

Who can wonder then, if thou
Hearest breathe my tender vow;
If thy lips, so pure, so bright,
Are dim with kisses, day and night?
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