The Children's Hour

      My heart fills with joy each time I hear the laughter of children. This poem is placed here for every girl and boy throughout the world. Let it be known that you are loved and held dear in the round-towers of many a heart.

      Between the dark and the daylight,
      When 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 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.

      The Children's Hour by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

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