A Prisoner in Fairyland HTML version

Chapter 22
And those who were good shall be happy.
They shall sit in a golden chair;
They shall splash at a ten-league canvas
With brushes of comets' hair.
They shall have real saints to paint from--
Magdalene, Peter, and Paul;
They shall work for an age at a sitting
And never get tired at all.
And only the Master shall praise them,
And only the Master shall blame;
And no one shall work for money,
And no one shall work for fame;
But each for the joy of the working,
And each in his separate star,
Shall draw the thing as he sees it
For the God of things as they are,
And meanwhile, as May ran laughing to meet June, an air of coloured wonder
spread itself about the entire village. Rogers had brought it with him from that old
Kentish garden somehow. His journey there had opened doors into a region of
imagination and belief whence fairyland poured back upon his inner world,
transfiguring common things. And this transfiguration he unwittingly put into
others too. Through this very ordinary man swept powers that usually are left
behind with childhood. The childhood aspect of the world invaded all who came
in contact with him, enormous, radiant, sparkling, charged with questions of
wonder and enchantment. And every one felt it according to their ability of
reconstruction. Yet he himself had not the least idea that he did it all. It was a
reformation, very tender, soft, and true.
For wonder, of course, is the basis of all inquiry. Interpretation varies, facts
remain the same; and to interpret is to recreate. Wonder leads to worship. It
insists upon recreation, prerogative of all young life. The Starlight Express ran
regularly every night, Jimbo having constructed a perfect time-table that
answered all requirements, and was sufficiently elastic to fit instantly any scale
that time and space demanded. Rogers and the children talked of little else, and
their adventures in the daytime seemed curiously fed by details of information
gleaned elsewhere.
But where? The details welled up in one and all, though whence they came
remained a mystery. 'I believe we dream a lot of it,' said Jimbo. 'It's a lot of
dreams we have at night, comme fa.' He had made a complete map of railway
lines, with stations everywhere, in forests, sky, and mountains. He carried
stations in his pocket, and just dropped one out of the carriage window whenever
a passenger shouted, 'Let's stop here.' But Monkey, more intellectual, declared it