Children

Children

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Children

 

 

Children Come to me, O ye children!

For I hear you at your play,

And the questions that perplexed me

Have vanished quite away.

 

Ye open the eastern windows,

That look towards the sun,

Where thoughts are singing swallows

And the brooks of morning run.

 

In your hearts are the birds and the sunshine,

In your thoughts the brooklet’s flow,

But in mine is the wind of Autumn

And the first fall of the snow.

 

Ah! what would the world be to us

If the children were no more?

We should dread the desert behind us

Worse than the dark before.

 

What the leaves are to the forest,

With light and air for food,

Ere their sweet and tender juices

Have been hardened into wood,–

 

That to the world are children;

Through them it feels the glow

Of a brighter and sunnier climate

Than reaches the trunks below.

 

Come to me, O ye children!

And whisper in my ear

What the birds and the winds are singing

In your sunny atmosphere.

 

For what are all our contrivings,

And the wisdom of our books,

When compared with your caresses,

And the gladness of your looks?

 

Ye are better than all the ballads

That ever were sung or said;

For ye are living poems,

And all the rest are dead.

 

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