Author: Lewis Carroll  | Date: 1853


I LOVE the stillness of the wood:

I love the music of the rill:

I love to couch in pensive mood

Upon some silent hill.

Scarce heard, beneath yon arching trees,

The silver-crested ripples pass;

And, like a mimic brook, the breeze

Whispers among the grass.

Here from the world I win release,

Nor scorn of men, nor footstep rude,

Break in to mar the holy peace

Of this great solitude.

Here may the silent tears I weep

Lull the vexed spirit into rest,

As infants sob themselves to sleep

Upon a mother’s breast.

But when the bitter hour is gone,

And the keen throbbing pangs are still,

Oh, sweetest then to couch alone

Upon some silent hill!

To live in joys that once have been,

To put the cold world out of sight,

And deck life’s drear and barren scene

With hues of rainbow-light.

For what to man the gift of breath,

If sorrow be his lot below;

If all the day that ends in death

Be dark with clouds of woe?

Shall the poor transport of an hour

Repay long years of sore distress-

The fragrance of a lonely flower

Make glad the wilderness?

Ye golden hours of Life’s young spring,

Of innocence, of love and truth!

Bright, beyond all imagining,

Thou fairy-dream of youth!

I’d give all wealth that years have piled,

The slow result of Life’s decay,

To be once more a little child

For one bright summer-day.

March 16, 1853.

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Chicago: Lewis Carroll, Solitude Original Sources, accessed May 23, 2024,

MLA: Carroll, Lewis. Solitude, Original Sources. 23 May. 2024.

Harvard: Carroll, L, Solitude. Original Sources, retrieved 23 May 2024, from