Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Tuesday Poem: " 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!


by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


In the early 1980s, there was a New Zealand band called Children's Hour, but apparently they didn't take their name from this poem.



Longfellow is probably fairly well known to most English students in English-speaking countries, but for more on this poet, see:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Wadsworth_Longfellow

You have to be a jolly famous poet to feature on a Postage Stamp:


I aspire to be on a Postage Stamp someday, but with the decline of snail mail, will anyone still be licking the backs of poets in ten years time?

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