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BEATRICE

by Lewis Carroll

 

IN her eyes is the living light

Of a wanderer to earth

From a far celestial height:

Summers five are all the span-

Summers five since Time began

To veil in mists of human night

A shining angel-birth. -

Does an angel look from her eyes?

Will she suddenly spring away

And soar to her home in the skies?

Beatrice! Blessing and blessed to be!

Beatrice! Stillas I gaze on thee

Visions of two sweet maids arise

Whose life was of yesterday: -

Of a Beatrice pale and stern

With the lips of a dumb despair

With the innocent eyes that yearn-

Yearn for the young sweet hours of life

Far from sorrow and far from strife

For the happy summersthat never return

When the world seemed good and fair: -

Of a Beatrice gloriousbright-

Of a saintedethereal maid

Whose blue eyes are deep fountains of light

Cheering the poet that broodeth apart

Filling with gladness his desolate heart

Like the moon when she shines thro' a cloudless night

On a world of silence and shade. -

And the visions waver and faint

And the visions vanish away

That my fancy delighted to paint-

She is here at my sidea living child

With the glowing cheek and the tresses wild

Nor death-pale martyrnor radiant saint

Yet stainless and bright as they. -

For I thinkif a grim wild beast

Were to come from his charnel-cave

From his jungle-home in the East-

Stealthily creeping with bated breath

Stealthily creeping with eyes of death-

He would all forget his dream of the feast

And crouch at her feet a slave. -

She would twine her hand in his mane:

She would prattle in silvery tone

Like the tinkle of summer-rain-

Questioning him with her laughing eyes

Questioning him with a glad surprise

Till she caught from those fierce eyes again

The love that lit her own. -

And be sureif a savage heart

In a mask of human guise

Were to come on her here apart-

Bound for a dark and a deadly deed

Hurrying past with pitiless speed-

He would suddenly falter and guiltily start

At the glance of her pure blue eyes. -

Naybe sureif an angel fair

A bright seraph undefiled

Were to stoop from the trackless air

Fain would she linger in glad amaze-

Lovingly linger to ponder and gaze

With a sister's love and a sister's care

On the happyinnocent child. -

Dec. 41862. -

THE END