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Friday, March 23, 2007

Poetry Friday: The Children's Hour by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

My husband is quite the theatrical guy. When he was in grade school, he found joy performing in front of an audience. He acted in plays, sang in musicals and recited poetry. I knew my husband acted and sang. In fact, when we first started dating, his Sinatra croons just made me melt. But recited poetry? I kind of giggled at this new discovery. Alot. Because he is not at all a poetry type of guy. At least I didn't think so...Imagine my astonished face as he told me about his favorite childhood poem and triumphantly recited it from memory....

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!

Poetry Friday Roundup is over at the Blue Rose Girls today!


Erin said...

I love this poem! Thanks for posting. :)

HipWriterMama said...

You're welcome Erin. Glad you enjoyed it.

Liz in Ink said...

What a delightful surprise from your husband!

HipWriterMama said...

It was an unbelievable surprise. Nothing like going from shock to disbelief to total pride in a few minutes. I'm quite impressed. So were the girls.

Makes me wonder if I should expect some lovely poem readings and romantic picnic lunches...

Liz in Ink said...

Yes! Let's see if he can outdo himself, shall we?

HipWriterMama said...

Tee-hee. Yes, let's see.

Callipygia said...

How wonderful to learn something new about him after being married so long. It is a sweet poem!