Go! Eat Some Candy! It's Halloween!
When I was a kid, my mum would often recite this poem to me. I found it exceedingly creepy and would beg her to stop (it was not the only poem or song that I found disturbing, but she always just laughed and declared I needed a thicker skin).
I realize Longfellow fully intended it as a loving tribute, but I wonder at my darling mum's intent. . .
Judge for yourself:
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,
'Til I think of the Bishop of Bingen
In his Mouse-Tower on the Rhine!
Do you think, o you 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,
'Til the walls shall crumble to ruin,
And moulder in dust away!
September & Corina
October 31, 2007