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 Rine!

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!

Henry W. Longfellow. Estados Unidos(1807-1882)

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