RETURN TO Carry On Tuesday

Saturday 29 January 2011

Carry On Tuesday # 90

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)

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 moustache 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 dungeons
 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!