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The Little House of Lost Play (Mar Vanwa Tyalieva)

by
 We knew that land once, You and I,
and once we wandered there
in the long days now long gone by,
a dark child and a fair.
Was it on the paths of firelight thought in winter cold and white, or in the blue-spun twilit hours of little early tucked-up beds in drowsy summer night, that you and I in Sleep went down to meet each other there, your dark hair on your white nightgown and mine was tangled fair? We wandered shyly hand in hand, small footprints in the golden sand, and gathered pearls and shells in pails, while all about the nightengales were singing in the trees.
We dug for silver with our spades, and caught the sparkle of the seas, then ran ashore to greenlit glades, and found the warm and winding lane that now we cannot find again, between tall whispering trees.
The air was neither night nor day, an ever-eve of gloaming light, when first there glimmered into sight the Little House of Play.
New-built it was, yet very old, white, and thatched with straws of gold, and pierced with peeping lattices that looked toward the sea; and our own children's garden-plots were there: our own forgetmenots, red daisies, cress and mustard, and radishes for tea.
There all the borders, trimmed with box, were filled with favourite flowers, with phlox, with lupins, pinks, and hollyhocks, beneath a red may-tree; and all the gardens full of folk that their own little language spoke, but not to You and Me.
For some had silver watering-cans and watered all their gowns, or sprayed each other; some laid plans to build their houses, little towns and dwellings in the trees.
And some were clambering on the roof; some crooning lonely and aloof; some dancing round the fairy-rings all garlanded in daisy-strings, while some upon their knees before a little white-robed king crowned with marigold would sing their rhymes of long ago.
But side by side a little pair with heads together, mingled hair, went walking to and fro still hand in hand; and what they said, ere Waking far apart them led, that only we now know.

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