[This lovely poem about children is written by the American poet Henry Longfellow. He was born in 1807 and died in 1882. He was a Professor at the Harvard University, which is considered to be one of the best American universities. He was very interested in the culture of other countries and had travelled widely. His poems deal with not only the American scene but also much of what he saw during his travels.]

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 easten 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 my mind 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
That reaches the trunk below.

Come to me, O ye children!
And whisper in my ear
What the birds and 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 gladnesss 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.

- Henry Longfellow


This poem has 9 stanzas. A stanza in a poem is what a paragraph is in your lesson. Each stanza has 4 lines. In each stanza, the last word of the second line produces the same sound as the last word of the fourth line. For example, play, away, sun, run, flow, snow.
But the last word of the first line and last word of the third line do not produce the same sound in all the stanzas, though in some it does. See in other stanzas also what the last word of second and the fourth line is.

Henry Longfellow
picture taken from
encarta encylopedia
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