James and Mary Ford, eds. Every Day in the Year. 1902.

October 12

The Wanderer

By Eugene Field (1850–1895)

  • The supposed song of Heléne Modjeska, born Oct. 12, 1844.

  • UPON a mountain height, far from the sea,

    I found a shell,

    And to my listening ear this lonely thing

    Ever a song of ocean seem’d to sing—

    Ever a tale of ocean seem’d to tell.

    How came the shell upon the mountain height?

    Ah, who can say

    Whether there dropped by some too careless hand—

    Whether there cast when oceans swept the land,

    Ere the Eternal had ordained the day?

    Strange, was it not? Far from its native deep,

    One song it sang;

    Sang of the awful mysteries of the tide,

    Sang of the restless sea, profound and wide—

    Ever with echoes of the ocean rang.

    And as the shell upon the mountain height

    Sang of the sea,

    So do I ever, leagues and leagues away—

    So do I ever, wandering where I may,

    Sing, O my home! sing, O my home! of thee!