Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Children's Hour


The Children's Hour
by
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Between the dark and the daylight,
When the night is beginning to lower,
Comes a pause in the day's occupations,
That is known as the Children's Hour.

I hear in the chamber above me
The patter of little feet,
The sound of a door that is opened,
And voices soft and sweet.

From my study I see in the lamplight,
Descending the broad hall stair,
Grave Alice, and laughing Allegra,
And Edith with golden hair.

A whisper, and then a silence:
Yet I know by their merry eyes
They are plotting and planning together
To take me by surprise.

A sudden rush from the stairway,
A sudden raid from the hall!
By three doors left unguarded
They enter my castle wall!

They climb up into my turret
O'er the arms and back of my chair;
If I try to escape, they surround me;
They seem to be everywhere.

They almost devour me with kisses,
Their arms about me entwine,
Till I think of the Bishop of Bingen
In his Mouse-Tower on the Rhine!

Do you think, o blue-eyed banditti,
Because you have scaled the wall,
Such an old mustache as I am
Is not a match for you all!

I have you fast in my fortress,
And will not let you depart,
But put you down into the dungeon
In the round-tower of my heart.

And there will I keep you forever,
Yes, forever and a day,
Till the walls shall crumble to ruin,
And moulder in dust away!

4 comments:

Jessica Hall said...

I have always loved that poem. It is such a sweet one that shows a parent's love.

Jessica :D

Gretchen Emily Wolaver said...

I love it too! It's such a perfect picture of the joys of family. I love basically everything written by Longfellow. What an amazing poet! :-)

Hailey Renée said...

Hello, Gretchen! I wanted you to know, I just got O Pioneers! by Willa Cather- I said in an older comment that I would read it- at the bookstore and I hope to be reading it soon! And I also forgot to say, I just last weeks finished My Antonia. :-) It was a great read, but sweetly melancholy.

Gretchen Emily Wolaver said...

Hey Hailey!

I think you'll enjoy 'O Pioneers!'. It's definitely Willa Cather. =) I still need to read My Antonia. There are so many books that I haven't read yet. Once I made a pact with myself to not buy any other book until I had read all the books I needed to at home.... it didn't last long. =D