In a palace of pearl and seaweed,
Set around with shining shells,
Under the deeps of the ocean,
The little sea princess dwells.
Sometimes she sees the shadow
Of a great whale passing by,
Or a white-winged vessel sailing
Between the sea and sky.
And when through the waves she rises,
Beyond the breakers' roar
She hears the shouts of the children
At play on the sandy shore;
And sees the ships' sides tower
Above like a wet black wall;
Or shouts to the roaring breakers,
And answers the sea gull's call.
But down in the quiet waters
Better she loves to play,
Making a seaweed garden,
Purple and green and gray;
Stringing with pearls a necklace,
Or learning curious spells
From the water witch, gray and ancient,
And hearing the tales she tells.
Out in the stable her sea horse
Champs in his crystal stall,
And fishes with scales that glisten
Come leaping forth at her call.
So the little princess
Is busy and happy all day
just as the human children
Are busy and happy at play.
And when the darkness gathers
Over the lonely deep,
On a bed of velvet seaweed
The princess is rocked to sleep.