Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There/Preface

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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.