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Child of the pure unclouded brow

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Child of the pure unclouded brow is the prefatory poem to Lewis Carroll's 1871 novel, Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There.


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.

Poems 'Tis the Voice of the Lobster - A boat beneath a sunny sky - All in the golden afternoon... - Child of the pure unclouded brow - Haddocks' Eyes - How Doth the Little Crocodile - Humpty Dumpty's Recitation - Jabberwocky - The Lobster Quadrille - The Mock Turtle's Song - The Mouse's Tale - The Walrus and the Carpenter - They told me you had been to her... - Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Bat - You Are Old, Father William

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