The Children's Hour
By Henry Wasworth Longfellow
Between the dark and the daylight
When the light is beginning to lower
Comes a pause in the day's occupations
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 open
Of voices soft and sweet
From my study I see in the lamplight
Descending the broad hall stair
Sweet Sarah, Laughing Andrew
And Jordan 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 brown-eyed banditti,
Because you have scaled the wall
That 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!