I love to read. I love classic literature the most, I suppose. I enjoy reading books by authors like Twain, Bronte, Montgomery, and Dickens. I also enjoy classic poetry. My daughter is memorizing the following poem by Longfellow. I get misty eyed almost every time we recite it. I know it’s silly. I cry pretty easily. I don’t mind though. My tears show my sincerity, my tender heart, and my love to my children. I wanted to share this most touching poem with you. I hope you love it as much as I do!

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.

Longfellow captures the fleeting moments of childhood so appropriately. I am reminded how precious each and every day is with my children.
I am thoroughly enjoying the years that my children are small. I know something that my dear wee ones do not yet understand. I know that these years pass all too swiftly. This poem illustrates the biblical principle found in James 4:14: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

I want to laugh with children more. I want to listen to them more and tickle them more! I want to read to them under a blanket more; I want to praise them more.

It seems like only yesterday I was “pouncing” on my own Dad after he arrived home from work. It was only yesterday that we had another of our many “wrestling (tickling) matches”. Wasn’t it just yesterday that he repaired my bike for me; and he read to me from the Big Book of Presidents? (Yes, we both loved history!) Wasn’t it yesterday that he told me he loved me, before he left for work? No? It sure seems like yesterday. But now he is in Heaven, waiting for me. Those memories are just that, memories. Never to be lived again. Let’s not waste our time! It’s our most precious commodity.

My goals today:
Read to Leslie and Laci.
Rock Laci and sing to her.
Talk to Lauren about things that might be bothering her. Pray with her about her friends.
Not get frustrated with my poor, sweet ADD son during school! :0)

6 thoughts on “Longfellow and a Lesson

  1. Amanda Tyler says:

    That's a great poem and a good reminder. I get so busy sometimes and find myself saying “not right now” an awfully lot. 😦

    I hope you meet your goals for today!


  2. Kristy... says:

    GOOD GOALS!!! 😛 I rocked my two year old and sang to him yesterady. it had been awhile.. what a blessing it was to us both but, honestly, I think I got more out of it then he did! 😀


  3. Tobitha says:

    Valarie, this was inspiring and I needed to see this. Thanks for sharing… we often let fleeting moments pass and we just forget…


  4. Mother says:

    I also love that poem, and I love reading to my grandchildren! I love the memories of the books I read to my children…yesterday!
    I love you.


  5. Chelsie says:

    That is really a sweet poem! Thank you for sharing.

    Thanks for following my blog! It's been awhile since I blogged and now that I decided to give it another shot, it is encouraging to see people visit it!

    God bless!


  6. Anonymous says:

    I ALMOST teared up when I read that poem. If Mitchell has ADD then he got it from an unnamed, classified source that must not be revealed.


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