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Envoy For A Childs Garden Of Verses

 WHETHER upon the garden seat
You lounge with your uplifted feet
Under the May's whole Heaven of blue;
Or whether on the sofa you,
No grown up person being by,
Do some soft corner occupy;
Take you this volume in your hands
And enter into other lands,
For lo! (as children feign) suppose
You, hunting in the garden rows,
Or in the lumbered attic, or
The cellar - a nail-studded door
And dark, descending stairway found
That led to kingdoms underground:
There standing, you should hear with ease
Strange birds a-singing, or the trees
Swing in big robber woods, or bells
On many fairy citadels:

There passing through (a step or so -
Neither mamma nor nurse need know!)
From your nice nurseries you would pass,
Like Alice through the Looking-Glass
Or Gerda following Little Ray,
To wondrous countries far away.
Well, and just so this volume can Transport each little maid or man Presto from where they live away Where other children used to play.
As from the house your mother sees You playing round the garden trees, So you may see if you but look Through the windows of this book Another child far, far away And in another garden play.
But do not think you can at all, By knocking on the window, call That child to hear you.
He intent Is still on his play-business bent.
He does not hear, he will not look, Nor yet be lured out of this book.
For long ago, the truth to say, He has grown up and gone away; And it is but a child of air That lingers in the garden there.

Poem by Robert Louis Stevenson
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