Down the Rabbit Hole
All in the golden afternoon
Full leisurely we glide;
For both our oars, with little skill,
By little arms are plied,
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
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 tones Secunda hopes
`There will be nonsense
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
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
`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--
now the tale is done,
And home we steer, a merry crew,
Beneath the setting sun.
Alice! A childish story take,
[FROM A FAIRY TO A CHILD]
And, with a gentle hand,
Lay it where Childhood's dreams are twined
Like pilgrim's wither'd wreath of flowers
Pluck'd in a far-off land.
LADY dear, if Fairies may
For a moment lay aside
Cunning tricks and elfish play,
'Tis at happy Christmas-
We have heard the children say--
Gentle children, whom we love--
Long ago, on Christmas Day,
message from above.
Still, as Christmas-tide comes round,
They remember it again--
Echo still the joyful sound
`Peace on earth,
good-will to men!'
Yet the hearts must child-like be
Where such heavenly guests abide;
Unto children, in their glee,
year is Christmas-tide.
Thus, forgetting tricks and play
For a moment, Lady dear,
We would wish you, if we may,
glad New Year!
DOWN THE RABBIT-HOLE
ALICE was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank and of having nothing to do: once
or twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictures or conversations in
it, `and what is the use of a book,' thought Alice, `without pictures or conversations?'
So she was considering, in her own mind (as well as she could, for the hot day made her feel very sleepy
and stupid), whether the pleasure of making a daisy-chain would be worth the trouble of getting up and
picking the daisies, when suddenly a White Rabbit with pink eyes ran close by her.
There was nothing so very remarkable in that; nor did Alice think it so very much out of the way to hear
the Rabbit say to itself `Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be too late!' (when she thought it over afterwards it
occurred to her that she ought to have wondered at this, but at the time it all seemed quite natural); but,
when the Rabbit actually took a watch out of its waistcoat-pocket, and looked at it, and then hurried