The Complete Poetical Works of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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Author: 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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Chicago: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, "The Children’s Hour," The Complete Poetical Works of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Callaway, Morgan, Jr., 1962- in The Complete Poetical Works of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (New York: George E. Wood, 1850), Original Sources, accessed April 24, 2024, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=PNBMPZMIYV6GWDN.

MLA: Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth. "The Children’s Hour." The Complete Poetical Works of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, edited by Callaway, Morgan, Jr., 1962-, in The Complete Poetical Works of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, New York, George E. Wood, 1850, Original Sources. 24 Apr. 2024. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=PNBMPZMIYV6GWDN.

Harvard: Longfellow, HW, 'The Children’s Hour' in The Complete Poetical Works of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. . cited in 1850, The Complete Poetical Works of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, George E. Wood, New York. Original Sources, retrieved 24 April 2024, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=PNBMPZMIYV6GWDN.