Monday, January 11, 2016

The Children's Hour

In high school I had to memorize this for English class. I memorized a lot of things as a child. I should spend more time on memorization. There is something special about carrying a passage or song or verse in your brain and having it always with you. I need to do more. 

I play with the baby for an hour or so after Martin goes to bed. He Explores the   house and plays with everything he doesn't get to during the day. It is one of my favorite times of day. For some reason I started thinking of this poem last night while we played (between the dark and daylight...). I love the whole thing, but especially the last line:
And there I will keep you forever. 
Yes, forever and a day. 
Til the walls should crumble to ruin. 
And moulder to dust away. 

It is impossible to keep my children from growing older. I can't keep them for forever. Sometime I feel like I want to. But then I have to remind myself that I am just a steward of my children (like so many things in my life - house, money, car, talents, health, etc.). God has given them to me to use for His glory. It makes me think differently about parenting when I remember this. I want my children to realize that this life is short and to make it count. I want them to realize life isn't about them and their things. I want them to spent their time on what matters. I want them to serve others. 

I am still learning. God keeps teaching me things. I am so thankful He doesn't give up on us. I am learning to look to the gift giver and not the gift for satisfaction. It is hard sometimes not to worship the gift. 

I didn't mean to say all of that. It doesn't really apply to the poem. :) I was in a rambling mood this morning.  
Enjoy. 

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! 

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