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On the lost art of letter writing

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Lewis Carroll wrote this unique double acrostic for Gertrude Chataway. The verses embody her name in two ways — by letters, and by syllables

Girt with a boyish garb for boyish task,
  Eager she Wields her spade—yet loves as well 
Rest on a friendly knee, the tale to ask 
  That he delights to tell.

Rude spirits of the seething outer strife,
  Unmeet to read her pure and simple spright,
Deem, if you list, such hours a Waste of life,
 Empty of all delight!

Chat on, sweet maid, and rescue from annoy
  Hearts that by wiser talk are unbeguiled!
Ah, happy he who owns that tenderest joy,
  The heart-love of a child!

Away, fond thoughts, and vex my soul no more!
  Work claims my wakeful nights, my busy days;
Albeit bright memories of that sunlit shore
  Yet haunt my dreaming gaze!


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Stuart Dodgson Collingwood

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Table of Letters