Faces in the Fire

Author: Lewis Carroll  | Date: 1860


THE night creeps onward, sad and slow:

In these red embers’ dying glow

The forms of Fancy come and go.

An island-farm- broad seas of corn

Stirred by the wandering breath of morn-

The happy spot where I was born.

The picture fadeth in its place:

Amid the glow I seem to trace

The shifting semblance of a face.

’Tis now a little childish form-

Red lips for kisses pouted warm-

And elf-locks tangled in the storm.

’Tis now a grave and gentle maid,

At her own beauty half afraid,

Shrinking, and willing to be stayed.

Oh, Time was young, and Life was warm,

When first I saw that fairy-form,

Her dark hair tossing in the storm.

And fast and free these pulses played,

When last I met that gentle maid-

When last her hand in mine was laid.

Those locks of jet are turned to gray,

And she is strange and far away

That might have been mine own to-day-

That might have been mine own, my dear,

Through many and many a happy year-

That might have sat beside me here.

Ay, changeless through the changing scene,

The ghostly whisper rings between,

The dark refrain of "might have been".

The race is o’er I might have run:

The deeds are past I might have done;

And sere the wreath I might have won.

Sunk is the last faint flickering blaze:

The vision of departed days

Is vanished even as I gaze.

The pictures, with their ruddy light,

Are changed to dust and ashes white,

And I am left alone with night.

Jan. 1860.

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Chicago: Lewis Carroll, Faces in the Fire Original Sources, accessed May 22, 2024, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=711C9ZMYAAQPFWE.

MLA: Carroll, Lewis. Faces in the Fire, Original Sources. 22 May. 2024. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=711C9ZMYAAQPFWE.

Harvard: Carroll, L, Faces in the Fire. Original Sources, retrieved 22 May 2024, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=711C9ZMYAAQPFWE.