Friday, March 11, 2005

the children's hour

Do you ever wish you could be a child again, just for a little while? Whenever I read this poem, I long for my dad, who would recite the last stanza to me every single night when he tucked me into bed.

Oh that I could go back to that precious time, if only to one bedtime moment in the whole history of my childhood bedtimes. I would savor his voice, the roughness of his evening whisker stubble, the pinkness of my room. I would beg him to stay, to linger and hold me ever so tightly in the round-tower of his heart!

Tonight I will pause as I say good night to my boys still at home, the handsome and gauky teens who are usually too busy to hug for very long. And I will make a memory, if not for them, then for me.

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!


Post a Comment

<< Home