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Alice's poem

By Lewis Carroll, 1872

A boat, beneath a sunny sky
Lingering onward dreamily
In an evening of July--
Children three that nestle near,
Eager eye and willing ear,
Pleased a simple tale to hear--
Long has paled that sunny sky:
Echoes fade and memories die:
Autumn frosts have slain July.
Still she haunts me, phantomwise.
Alice moving under skies
Never seen by waking eyes.
Children yet, the tale to hear,
Eager eye and willing ear,
Lovingly shall nestle near.
In a Wonderland they lie,
Dreaming as the days go by,
Dreaming as the summers die:
Ever drifting down the stream--
Lingering in the golden gleam--
Life, what is it but a dream?

NOTES

This poem on dreams was also Lewis Carroll's final word on Alice in Wonderland; it appears at the end of THROUGH THE LOOKING-GLASS.

The poetic constraints Carroll's given himself are so severe they should be insurmountable: constraints on subject matter, structure, rhyme, length, and even line-by-line material:

--Chris Wayan



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