(15 August 1858 – 4 May 1924 / Kennington / Surrey / England)

The Refusal

MINE is a palace fair to see,
All hung with gold and silver things,
It is more glorious than a king's,
And crownèd queens might envy me.


Ah, no, I will not let you in!
Stay rather at the gates and weep
For all the splendour that I keep,
The treasures that you cannot win.


While you desire and I refuse,
For both the palace still is here--
Its turrets gold, its silver gear
Are yours to wish for--mine to use.


But if I let you in, I know
The spell would break, the palace fade,
And we stand, trembling and afraid,
Lost in the dark where chill winds blow.

by Edith Nesbit

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