All in the Golden Afternoon

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search



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 tone 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 beast—
 And 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 out—
 And 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.

This work was published before January 1, 1923, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.