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<- Previous | Table of Contents | Next -> Digital Library-Alice In Wonderland by Lewis Carroll


All in the golden afternoon Full leisurely we glide; For both our
oars, with little skill, By little arms are plied, While little hands
make vain pretence Our wanderings to guide.

Ah, cruel Three! In such an hour, Beneath such dreamy weather,
To beg a tale of breath too weak To stir the tiniest feather! Yet what
can one poor voice avail Against three tongues together? Imperious
Prima flashes forth Her edict “to begin it”: In gentler tones Secunda
hopes “There will be nonsense in it!” While Tertia interrupts the
tale Not more than once a minute.

Anon, to sudden silence won, In fancy they pursue The dream-
child moving through a land Of wonders wild and new, In
friendly chat with bird or beastAnd half believe it true.

And ever, as the story drained The wells of fancy dry, And faintly
strove that weary one To put the subject by, “The rest next time-”
“It is next time!” The happy voices cry.

Thus grew the tale of Wonderland: Thus slowly, one by one, Its
quaint events were hammered outAnd now the tale is done, And
home we steer, a merry crew, Beneath the setting sun.

Alice! A childish story take, And, with a gentle hand, Lay it where
Childhood’s dreams are twined In Memory’s mystic band, Like
pilgrim’s wither’d wreath of flowers Pluck’d in a far-off land.

LADY dear, if Fairies may For a moment lay aside Cunning tricks
and elfish play, ‘Tis at happy Christmas-tide.

We have heard the children sayGentle children, whom we
loveLong ago, on Christmas Day, Came a message from above.
Still, as Christmas-tide comes round, They remember it againEcho
still the joyful sound “Peace on earth, good-will to men!” Yet the
hearts must childlike be Where such heavenly guests abide; Unto
children, in their glee, All the year is Christmas-tide! Thus,
forgetting tricks and play For a moment, Lady dear, We would
wish you, if we may, Merry Christmas, glad New Year!
Christmas, 1867.
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