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Looking-Glass River

Smooth it glides upon its travel,
Here a wimple, there a gleam,
O the clean gravel!
O the smooth stream!

Sailing blossoms, silver fishes,
Paven pools as clear as air,
How a child wishes
To live down there!

We can see our colored faces
Floating on the shaken pool
Down in cool places,
Dim and very cool;

Till a wind or water wrinkle,
Dipping marten, plumping trout,
Spreads in a twinkle
And blots all out.

See the rings pursue each other;
All below grows black as night,
Just as if mother
Had blown out the light!

Patience, children, just a minute,
See the spreading circles die;
The stream and all in it
Will clear by-and-by.

by Robert Louis Stevenson


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