ALICE IN WONDERLAND
All in the golden afternoon
Full leisurely we glide ;
For both our oars, with little skill,
By little arms are plied,
While 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
To stir 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 tone Secunda hopes
"There will be nonsense in it!"--
While Tertia interrupts the tale
Not <1more>1 than once a minute.
Anon, to sudden silence won,
In fancy they pursue
The dream-child moving through a land
Of wonders wild and new,
In friendly chat with bird or beast--
And half believe it true.
And ever, as the story drained
And faintly strove that weary one
The rest next time-- It <1is>1 next time!
The happy voices cry.
Thus grew the tale of Wonderland :
Thus slowly, one by one,
Its quaint events were hammered out--
And now the tale is . . .