The poem describes the poet's idyllic family life with his own three daughters, Alice, Edith, and Anne Allegra: "grave Alice, and laughing Allegra, and Edith with golden hair." As the darkness begins to fall, the narrator of the poem (Longfellow himself) is sitting in his study and hears his daughters in the room above. He describes them as an approaching army about to enter through a "sudden rush" and a "sudden raid" via unguarded doors. Climbing into his arms, the girls "devour" their father with kisses, who in turn promises to keep them forever in his heart.
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