Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

(27 February 1807 – 24 March 1882 / Portland, Maine)

The Children's Hour - Poem 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!


Comments about The Children's Hour by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

  • Rebecca Navarre (10/8/2016 10:37:00 PM)


    Oh How, , , So Tender! And So Very! Very Precious! ! ! Simply Priceless! ! ! ! (LOVE Without End! ! !) (Report) Reply

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  • (12/5/2008 8:28:00 AM)


    I really endear this poem because as a father of three lovely girls that were 2 years aprt in age, they did some of these little tricks on me and I enjoyed it immenseley.
    That was many years ago but it is still locked im memory as an important part of my life. I will endear this poem forever.
    (Report) Reply

  • (2/11/2007 9:00:00 AM)


    I love this poem because my mother used to read it to me when I was a little girl and I thought it was lovely to be held prisoner by love. I should imagine it was from this poem that the radio programme 'The children's hour' was named. In my childhood I listened to the programme every night and it gave pleasure as does the poem. Actualluy when mother first read the poem I did not really understand it but as with any poem it is the sound of the words that can enthrall and meaning can on accasion not be too important. (Report) Reply

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Read poems about / on: silence, together, children, hair, dark, night, child, kiss



Poem Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

Poem Edited: Friday, November 28, 2014


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