The Children's Hour

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, 0 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!

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

 

HAPPY JOE

IN a snug little cot at the end of the lane,
Lived a strange little man who would never complain;
Whether sunshine or shadow would fall to his share,
His troubles seemed trifles as light as the air;
While grief, in his presence, its sting seemed to lose,
And the sight of his face was a cure for the blues;
So placid and calm did his life seem to flow,
He was known far and near by the name, "Happy Joe."

 With instinct unerring, he always could find
That every dark cloud with bright silver was lined,
As he'd reckon his blessings, and show their amount
Was always ahead in life's daily account.
When miscreants ransacked his stable one night,
And purloined (stole) his horse to aid in their flight,
The good man at daybreak remarked, "I declare!
But I'm thankful to find that the cow is still there."

When lightning demolished his woodshed, "Well, now,
'Twas time that old shed was torn down, anyhow,"
He remarked, as with never a frown on his face,
He planned how he'd build a new one in its place.
One raw winter's morning found good-natured Joe
With a painful sore throat,— he was hoarse as a crow,
But he said to his wife, with a forced little laugh,
"I reckon it's lucky I'm not a giraffe."

 It chanced that while busily pruning his trees,
With an odd little song sent aloft on the breeze,
He suddenly slipped with a crash and a bound,
And found himself sitting upon the hard ground.
A kind-hearted neighbor soon rushed to his aid,
And what do you think this funny man said?
As he looked at his friend in a dazed sort of way —
"It's the first chance I've had, sir, to sit down to-day."

 When our pathway through life seems with trouble beset,
With hope and good cheer let our worries be met.
If sorrow's dark frown we would change to a smile,
Let's count all our blessings — we'll find it worth while.

Author Unknown