Prologue to Looking Glass

Lewis Carroll Fairy Tales

Prologue to Looking Glass

Child of the 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.

The End

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