(Charles Lutwidge Dodgson)
[These consist of two Double Acrostics and two Charades.
No. I. was written at the request of some young friends, who had gone to a ball at an Oxford Commemoration---and also as a specimen of what might be done by making a Double Acrostic a connected poem instead of what it has hitherto been, a string of disjointed stanzas, on every conceivable subject, and as interesting to read straight through as a page of a Cyclopaedia. The first two stanzas, and each subsequent stanza one of the cross "lights."
No. II. was written after seeing Miss Ellen Terry perform in the play of "Hamlet." In this case the first stanza describes the two main words.
No. III. was written after seeing Miss Marion Terry perform in Mr. Gilbert's play of "Pygmalion and Galatea." The three stanzas respectively describe "My First," "My Second," and "My Whole."]
THERE was an ancient City, stricken down,|
With a starnge frenzy, and for many a day
They paced from morn to eve the crowded town,
And danced the night away.
I asked the cause: the aged man grew sad:
Yet what are all such gaieties to me
But something whispered "It will soon be done:
A change came o'er my Vision---it was night:
Within a marble hall a river ran---
And here one offered to a thirsty fair
There comes a happy pause, for human strength
At such a moment ladies learn to give,
There comes a welcome summons---hope revives,
Flushed with new life, the crowd flows back again:
And thus they give the time, that Nature meant
And One (we name him not) that flies the flowers,
How late it grows! The hour is surely past
The Uncle gravely nods, and wisely winks.
Answer: Commemoration, Monstrosities.
O day of tears! Whence comes this spectre grim,
And still it lives, that keen and heavenward flame,
But all is lost: that mighty mind o'erthrown,
A sadder vision yet: thine aged sire
Nay, get thee hence! Leave all thy winsome ways
Answer: Ellen Terry.
THE air is bright with hues of light|
And rich with laughter and with singing:
Young hearts beat high in ecstasy,
And banners wave, and bells are ringing:
But silence falls with fading day,
And there's an end to mirth and play.
Rest your old bones, ye wrinkled crones!
O fair cold face! O form of grace,
Answer: Galatea (Gala-tea).
MY First is singular at best:|
More plural is my Second:
My Third is far the pluralest---
So plural-plural I protest
It scarcely can be reckoned!
My First is followed by a bird:
My First to get at wisdom tries---
My First is ageing day bt day:
My Whole? I need a poet's pen
A flashing light---a fleeting shade---
Answer: Imagination (I-Magi-nation).