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XXXV

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,
     Pave 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.


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