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The Hall, Craigie, Home of Longfellow Cambridge, Massachusetts
The hall in Longfellow's home in Cambridge, Massachusetts

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Poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Was Born
February 27, 1807

In "The Children's Hour," Longfellow wrote about an evening when his daughters tried to catch him by surprise. What do the first two verses of the poem have to do with the photograph on this page?

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.

Can you imagine his daughters playing on this staircase? Longfellow's poems may seem old-fashioned now, but he was considered a "new poet" in his day. What would a modern-day poet write about you?

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