The Children’s Hour

The Children’s Hour

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The Children's Hour

 

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!

 

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