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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.

    Lewis Carroll

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