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A Boat Beneath a Sunny Sky

Lewis Carroll
Lewis Carroll
  • A boat beneath a sunny sky,
  • Lingering onward dreamily
  • In an evening of July —
  • Children three that nestle near,
  • Eager eye and willing ear,
  • Pleased a simple tale to hear —
  • Long has paled that sunny sky:
  • Echoes fade and memories die.
  • Autumn frosts have slain July.
  • Still she haunts me, phantomwise,
  • Alice moving under skies
  • Never seen by waking eyes.
  • Children yet, the tale to hear,
  • Eager eye and willing ear,
  • Lovingly shall nestle near.
  • In a Wonderland they lie,
  • Dreaming as the days go by,
  • Dreaming as the summers die:
  • Ever drifting down the stream —
  • Lingering in the golden gleam —
  • Life, what is it but a dream?


Lewis Carroll, the pseudonym of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (1832–1898), was a mathematician, logician, photographer, and imaginative writer who authored several books on mathematics, produced many photographs that continue to be reprinted (among them well-known portraits of the poets Tennyson and Dante Gabriel Rossetti), and is the author of Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass. Dodgson invented the story of Alice in Wonderland to entertain the children of Henry George Liddell, dean of Christ Church, one of whom, Alice Pleasance Liddell, urged him to write down the story. He gave his character Alice the same birthdate as Alice Liddell and ends Through the Looking-Glass with this poem (which is an acrostic in which the first letter of each line spells out her name). The poem has no title in Through the Looking-Glass but is often referred to by its first line, “A Boat Beneath a Sunny Sky.” This photograph by Dodgson (this is a cropped version) hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in London. It was taken in the summer of 1858.

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Lewis Carroll
Lewis Carroll
  • A boat beneath a sunny sky,
  • Lingering onward dreamily
  • In an evening of July —
  • Children three that nestle near,
  • Eager eye and willing ear,
  • Pleased a simple tale to hear —
  • Long has paled that sunny sky:
  • Echoes fade and memories die.
  • Autumn frosts have slain July.
  • Still she haunts me, phantomwise,
  • Alice moving under skies
  • Never seen by waking eyes.
  • Children yet, the tale to hear,
  • Eager eye and willing ear,
  • Lovingly shall nestle near.
  • In a Wonderland they lie,
  • Dreaming as the days go by,
  • Dreaming as the summers die:
  • Ever drifting down the stream —
  • Lingering in the golden gleam —
  • Life, what is it but a dream?


Lewis Carroll, the pseudonym of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (1832–1898), was a mathematician, logician, photographer, and imaginative writer who authored several books on mathematics, produced many photographs that continue to be reprinted (among them well-known portraits of the poets Tennyson and Dante Gabriel Rossetti), and is the author of Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass. Dodgson invented the story of Alice in Wonderland to entertain the children of Henry George Liddell, dean of Christ Church, one of whom, Alice Pleasance Liddell, urged him to write down the story. He gave his character Alice the same birthdate as Alice Liddell and ends Through the Looking-Glass with this poem (which is an acrostic in which the first letter of each line spells out her name). The poem has no title in Through the Looking-Glass but is often referred to by its first line, “A Boat Beneath a Sunny Sky.” This photograph by Dodgson (this is a cropped version) hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in London. It was taken in the summer of 1858.

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