"Alice!" a childish story take
And with a gentle hand
Lay it where childhood's realms are twined
In memory's mystic band
Like pilgrim's withered wreath of flowers
Plucked in a far off land.
-final verse of the intro to Alice in Wonderland-
Child of pure unclouded brow
And dreaming eyes of wonder!
Though time be fleet and I and thou
Are half a life asunder,
Thy loving smile will surely hail
The love-gift of a fairy-tale.
I have not seen thy sunny face,
Nor heard thy silver laughter.
No thought of me shall find a place
In thy young life's hereafter-
Enough that now thou wilt not fail
To listen to my fairy-tale.
A tale begun in other days,
When summer suns were glowing-
A simple chime, that served to time
The rhythm of our rowing-
Whose echoes live in memory yet,
Though envious years would say "forget."
Come, hearken then, ere voice of dread,
With bitter tidings laden,
Shall summon to unwelcome bed
A melancholy maiden!
We are but older children dear,
Who fret to find our bedtime near.
Without, the frost, the blinding snow,
The storm-wind's moody madness-
Within, the firelight's ruddy glow,
And childhood's nest of gladness.
The magic words shall hold thee fast.
Thou shalt not heed the raving blast.
And though the shadow of a sigh
May tremble through the story,
For "happy summer days" gone by,
And vanish'd summer glory-
It shall not touch with breath of bale,
The pleasance of our fairy-tale.
-Introduction to Through the Looking Glass