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!

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Comments (4)

I love this poem.My father used to read it for me.It reminds me of him
Oh How, , , So Tender! And So Very! Very Precious! ! ! Simply Priceless! ! ! ! (LOVE Without End! ! !)
I really endear this poem because as a father of three lovely girls that were 2 years aprt in age, they did some of these little tricks on me and I enjoyed it immenseley. That was many years ago but it is still locked im memory as an important part of my life. I will endear this poem forever.
I love this poem because my mother used to read it to me when I was a little girl and I thought it was lovely to be held prisoner by love. I should imagine it was from this poem that the radio programme 'The children's hour' was named. In my childhood I listened to the programme every night and it gave pleasure as does the poem. Actualluy when mother first read the poem I did not really understand it but as with any poem it is the sound of the words that can enthrall and meaning can on accasion not be too important.