Lewis Carroll: Through the Looking Glass

CHAPTER 12: Which Dreamed it? (continued)

`And what did DINAH turn to, I wonder?' she prattled on, as she settled comfortably down, with one elbow in the rug, and her chin in her hand, to watch the kittens. `Tell me, Dinah, did you turn to Humpty Dumpty? I THINK you did--however, you'd better not mention it to your friends just yet, for I'm not sure.

`By the way, Kitty, if only you'd been really with me in my dream, there was one thing you WOULD have enjoyed--I had such a quantity of poetry said to me, all about fishes! To-morrow morning you shall have a real treat. All the time you're eating your breakfast, I'll repeat "The Walrus and the Carpenter" to you; and then you can make believe it's oysters, dear!

`Now, Kitty, let's consider who it was that dreamed it all. This is a serious question, my dear, and you should NOT go on licking your paw like that--as if Dinah hadn't washed you this morning! You see, Kitty, it MUST have been either me or the Red King. He was part of my dream, of course--but then I was part of his dream, too! WAS it the Red King, Kitty? You were his wife, my dear, so you ought to know--Oh, Kitty, DO help to settle it! I'm sure your paw can wait!' But the provoking kitten only began on the other paw, and pretended it hadn't heard the question.

Which do YOU think it was?


                    A boat beneath a sunny sky,
                     Lingering onward dreamily
                     In an evening of July--
                    Children three that nestle near,
                     Eager eye and willing ear,
                     Pleased a simple tale to hear--
                    Long has paled that sunny sky:
                     Echoes fade and memories die.
                     Autumn frosts have slain July.
                    Still she haunts me, phantomwise,
                     Alice moving under skies
                     Never seen by waking eyes.
                    Children yet, the tale to hear,
                     Eager eye and willing ear,
                     Lovingly shall nestle near.
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