Magic-Lantern Poem by Roden Berkeley Wriothesley Noel

Magic-Lantern



I was within a darkened chamber,
Full of children small;
Upon my knees I felt him clamber,
One of the least of all,
Answering my call.

He was a baby of the people,
Nor aught of him I knew;
Only the shadow of one steeple
Abode upon us two;
His arms around me grew.

Quaint figure, battle, bark, snow-mountain,
The lantern-wizardry,
Arouse joy's hidden silver fountain
To pretty wondering glee,
Plashing full merrily.

Albeit nor now, before, nor after,
Mine eyes beheld the boy,
When he so pealed with innocent laughter,
Methought my own, my joy,
Awhile with me did toy.

Athwart the drear unwarmed abysses
Of all the later years,
He leaned awhile from angel blisses,
To calm my foolish fears,
To kiss away my tears.

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