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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Portland, Maine
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Portland, Maine
Tuesday, December 31, 2002

Children

Rating: 3.2
Come to me, O ye children!
For I hear you at your play,
And the questions that perplexed me
Have vanished quite away.

Ye open the eastern windows,
That look towards the sun,
Where thoughts are singing swallows
And the brooks of morning run.

In your hearts are the birds and the sunshine,
In your thoughts the brooklet's flow,
But in mine is the wind of Autumn
And the first fall of the snow.

Ah! what would the world be to us
If the children were no more?
We should dread the desert behind us
Worse than the dark before.

What the leaves are to the forest,
With light and air for food,
Ere their sweet and tender juices
Have been hardened into wood, --

That to the world are children;
Through them it feels the glow
Of a brighter and sunnier climate
Than reaches the trunks below.

Come to me, O ye children!
And whisper in my ear
What the birds and the winds are singing
In your sunny atmosphere.

For what are all our contrivings,
And the wisdom of our books,
When compared with your caresses,
And the gladness of your looks?

Ye are better than all the ballads
That ever were sung or said;
For ye are living poems,
And all the rest are dead.
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COMMENTS
Donald R Wolff JR 19 October 2020
This is poetry. The way poetry is meant to be written.
0 0 Reply
Ken Morgan 06 January 2018
Lovely words from the father of three motherless children. Goes so well with 'The Children's Hour' by the same author
1 5 Reply
Tim Gove 24 December 2017
I can't remember reading poems EVER that have elicited such a brilliant endorphin rush as Children and Christmas Bells. Merry Christmas From me, Darien IL
0 6 Reply
Walterrean Salley 25 November 2016
(Children by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.) ... What the leaves are to the forest, With light and air for food, Ere their sweet and tender juices Have been hardened into wood, - That to the world are children; Through them it feels the glow Of a brighter and sunnier climate Than reaches the trunks below. _________________________________________ **Herein, Longfellow depicts the worth - the true value of children to our world.
2 4 Reply
Arpita Choudhury 24 June 2014
What beautiful use of words! ! Beautiful poem! !
7 5 Reply
Michelle Claus 20 April 2014
I agree with Longfellow's message. May our aging minds remain soft and dynamic, and not become hardened.
9 4 Reply
Sallam Yassin 20 April 2014
Best of the best of love in charm of the children
6 4 Reply
Carlos Echeverria 20 April 2012
New parents often say that having a child puts things in perspective...something Longfellow echoes in this poem. To hazard an answer to Mr. Pruchnicki's query: Longfellow's 'style and form' is so memorable simply because of the classic poetic techniques he employs; his rhyme and meter are used with precision and the music they create are like a hit top 40 single which keeps playing in our heads.
19 8 Reply
Mohammad Muzzammil 20 April 2011
one of the best poems regarding children in a beautiful words along with musical tone.
22 11 Reply
Juan Olivarez 20 April 2010
what can you say about long fellow that has not been said. in my humble opinion only lord tennyson surpassed him him in the fluidity of his words.
16 9 Reply

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