Tuesday, January 26, 2010

How A Girl Got Her Name

My name is Allegra Love.
I use to hate my name.
I am the 4th consecutive Allegra Love in my family.
This caused much confusion growing up
(and a lot of nick names...like Little Legs).
And while I use to hate it
I love it now
(but it will not be passed on should there be any little girls in my future).

Four generations ago,
My Great-Great Grandfather found the name in a poem.
I bet her never knew how it would stick!
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, o 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!

The Children's Hour
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

{3 of the 4 generations}


  1. Awwww, that is sweet!

  2. What a wonderful story....!!

  3. So cool! It's pretty neat to have a name with a background! :)

  4. I didn't know it was from a poem......wow. 28 years of being my cousin and I just learned that. where have I been?

    Did you get a little 'love' in the mail recently? ;)


  5. That is beautiful! I love the name :)

  6. i love your name i think it suits you very well its lovely and adorable just like you!
    i can't stand my name my dad named me after some bimbo on a 80s soap but now he tries to claim it was after the Boston song Amanda me and my mom both agree they should have named me Lola its a better fit lol

  7. what a great story.

    i love the name.

  8. I'm so glad I found your blog...and what a great story about your name :)

  9. I love your name...it's just beautiful and unique. Like you:)

  10. ahhhh what a great history to your name :)

  11. Love you name and your story. You think little legs is bad...my mom called me Megalicious!

  12. I'm so glad you shared girl, I've always wondered how you got that name and if it was really your "real name" too!

  13. What a great story to go with your name! That picture is awesome!

  14. I am married to a man named....Newton Harrison Zanes IV...that's right, the 4th!!!! Tis true, holidays and family gatherings are confusing. It ends up being a bunch of women in the kitchen saying, "Newt...no MY Newt...not yours!" We have two children....both girls...there will NOT be a 5th NHZ...and I'm okay with that!

  15. Aww, that's just the sweetest thing!

    What a lovely place to get your name from. Wishing you lots of the appropriate "laughter" and "love!"

  16. how sweet that your name came from your grandfather.

    my family is Portuguese, and my grandmother describes me as being "allegra." (yours is the first time i've heard it used as a name). she says it means happy, out-going, having the gift of hospitality. needless to say i love it when she tells me she see's me as being "muntu (very) allegra"