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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 . . .
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