Epitaph For William Nicol, High School, Edinburgh

YE maggots, feed on Nicol's brain,
For few sic feasts you've gotten;
And fix your claws in Nicol's heart,
For deil a bit o't's rotten.

by Robert Burns.

Hasten, children, black and white
Celebrate the yearly rite.
Every pupil plant a tree:
It will grow some day to be
Big and strong enough to bear
A School Director hanging there.

by Ambrose Bierce.

In This Little School

In this little school
Life goes so sweetly,
Day on azure day
Is lost completely.
No one thinks too much,
Or worries greatly.
In a pleasant shade
We dream sedately.
There's no struggle here
Or conflict showing;
Only the sweet pain
Of young limbs growing.

by Lesbia Harford.

The Lesson Of Grief

Not ere the bitter herb we taste,
Which ages thought of happy times,
To plant us in a weeping waste,
Rings with our fellows this one heart
Accordant chimes.

When I had shed my glad year's leaf,
I did believe I stood alone,
Till that great company of Grief
Taught me to know this craving heart
For not my own.

by George Meredith.

This is the lesson I have learned of Beauty:
Who gathers flowers finds that flowers fade:
Who sets love in his heart above his duty
Misses the part for which that love was made.
Than passion, haply, there is nothing madder:
Who plucks its red rose plucks with it a thorn:
More than soul's pain what hurt can make us sadder?
And yet of this immortal things are born.

by Madison Julius Cawein.

I'd like to be a teacher, and have a clever brain,
Calling out, 'Attention, please!' and 'Must I speak in vain?'
I'd be quite strict with boys and girls whose minds I had to train,
And all the books and maps and thngs I'd carefully explain;
I'd make then learn the dates of kings, and all the capes of Spain;
But I wouldn't be a teacher if ...
I couldn't use the cane.
Would you?

by Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis.

My Master Taught Me A Lesson

My Master taught me a lesson:
'Any moment you are negligent in remembrance of God is a moment spent in denial of God.'

These words opened my eyes to reality,
And I fixed my attention on the Lord.

I then placed my soul in his protection-
Such was the love I cultivated in my heart.

Having thus bequeathed my soul to him, I died before death - to live in him.
Only then did I attain the goal of life, O Bahu!

by Sultan Bahu.

On Opening An Old School Volume Of Horace

I HAD forgot how, in my day
The Sabine fields around me lay
In amaranth and asphodel,
With many a cold Bandusian well
Bright-bubbling by the mountain-way.
In forest dells of Faun and Fay
How, lounging in the fountain's spray,
I talked with Horace; felt his spell,
I had forgot.
With Pyrrha and with Lydia
How oft I sat, while Lalaga
Sang, and the fine Falerian fell,
Sparkling, and heard the poet tell
Of loves whose beauty lasts for aye,
I had forgot.

by Madison Julius Cawein.

Written For My Son, Upon Lady Santry's Coming To School, To See Her Son, And Getting The Scholars A Play--Day.

So Ceres, lovely and divine,
Eager to see her Proserpine,
Blessing the Nations as she pass'd,
Reach'd the fell Tyrant's Court at last;
Around her shot a Gleam of Light,
Diffusing Joy, dispelling Night;
And, whilst she gilds the dismal Gloom,
The Damn'd a--while forget their Doom;
The Danaids no longer fill;
And Sisyphus's Stone stood still;
Ixion wonders why he strove,
With impious Arts, to rival Fove;
Grim Pluto smil'd; all Hell look'd gay;
Happy, as we were Yesterday.

by Mary Barber.

The bees are in the meadow
And the swallows in the sky;
The cattle in the shadow
Watch the river running by.
The wheat is hardly stirring;
The heavy ox-team lags;
The dragon-fly is whirring
Through the yellow-blossomed flag.
And down beside the river,
Where the trees lean o'er the pool,
Where the shadows reach the quiver
A boy has come to school.
His teachers are the swallow
And the river and the trees;
His lessons are the shallows
And the flowers and the bees.

by John Boyle O'Reilly.

Extract From The Conclusion Of A Poem Composed In Anticipation Of Leaving School

DEAR native regions, I foretell,
From what I feel at this farewell,
That, wheresoe'er my steps may tend,
And whensoe'er my course shall end,
If in that hour a single tie
Survive of local sympathy,
My soul will cast the backward view,
The longing look alone on you.

Thus, while the Sun sinks down to rest
Far in the regions of the west,
Though to the vale no parting beam
Be given, not one memorial gleam,
A lingering light he fondly throws
On the dear hills where first he rose.

by William Wordsworth.

Sent As From A School--Fellow To My Son

I grieve to see you waste your Time,
And turn your Thoughts so much to Rhyme,
Be wise--your useless Views resign,
And fly the fair, delusive Nine.

I know, they try their wonted Art,
To win your easy, youthful Heart;
They talk of an immortal Name,
And promise you the Realms of Fame:
A mighty Empire, Con. 'tis true,
But wondrous small the Revenue!

They'll tell you too, to gain their Ends,
That Verse will raise you pow'rful Friends.
Believe me, Youth, this is not true:
The Great think ev'ry Thing their Due.

by Mary Barber.

A Singing Lesson

Far-fetched and dear-bought, as the proverb rehearses,
Is good, or was held so, for ladies: but nought
In a song can be good if the turn of the verse is
Far-fetched and dear-bought.

As the turn of a wave should it sound, and the thought
Ring smooth, and as light as the spray that disperses
Be the gleam of the words for the garb thereof wrought.

Let the soul in it shine through the sound as it pierces
Men's hearts with possession of music unsought;
For the bounties of song are no jealous god's mercies,
Far-fetched and dear-bought.

by Algernon Charles Swinburne.

Stanzas To A Lady, With The Poems Of Camoëns

This votive pledge of fond esteem,
Perhaps, dear girl! for me thou'lt prize;
It sings of Love's enchanting dream,
A theme we never can despise.

Who blames it but the envious fool,
The old and disappointed maid;
Or pupil of the prudish school,
In single sorrow doom'd to fade?

Then read, dear girl! with feeling read,
For thou wilt ne'er be one of those;
To thee in vain I shall not plead
In pity for the poet's woes.

He was in sooth a genuine bard;
His was no faint, fictitious flame.
Like his, may love be thy reward,
But not thy hapless fate the same.

by George Gordon Byron.

Going To School

Did you see them pass to-day, Billy, Kate and Robin,
All astride upon the back of old grey Dobbin?
Jigging, jogging off to school, down the dusty track -
What must Dobbin think of it - three upon his back?
Robin at the bridle-rein, in the middle Kate,
Billy holding on behind, his legs out straight.

Now they're coming back from school, jig, jog, jig.
See them at the corner where the gums grow big;
Dobbin flicking off the flies and blinking at the sun -
Having three upon his back he thinks is splendid fun:
Robin at the bridle-rein, in the middle Kate,
Little Billy up behind, his legs out straight.

by Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis.

The Latest School

See the flying French depart
Like the bees of Bonaparte,
Swarming up with a most venomous vitality.
Over Baden and Bavaria,
And Brighton and Bulgaria,
Thus violating Belgian neutrality.

And the injured Prussian may
Not unreasonably say
"Why, it cannot be so small a nationality
Since Brixton and Batavia,
Bolivia and Belgravia,
Are bursting with the Belgian neutrality."

By pure Alliteration
You may trace this curious nation,
And respect this somewhat scattered Principality;
When you see a B in Both
You may take your Bible oath
You are violating Belgian neutrality.

by Gilbert Keith Chesterton.

An Artist Of The Beautiful

GEORGE FULLER

Haunted of Beauty, like the marvellous youth
Who sang Saint Agnes' Eve! How passing fair
Her shapes took color in thy homestead air!
How on thy canvas even her dreams were truth!
Magician! who from commonest elements
Called up divine ideals, clothed upon
By mystic lights soft blending into one
Womanly grace and child-like innocence.
Teacher I thy lesson was not given in vain.
Beauty is goodness; ugliness is sin;
Art's place is sacred: nothing foul therein
May crawl or tread with bestial feet profane.
If rightly choosing is the painter's test,
Thy choice, O master, ever was the best.

by John Greenleaf Whittier.

Stand For Teacher

Stand for the teacher and honor his rank...
...for a teacher is almost as a prophet
Do you know of someone nobler than...
...he who nurtures minds and hearts
You encompass all, the Best Teacher...
...You taught with the pen the earliest people
You brought this mind forth from darkness...
...and guided it to an enlightened, radiant path
For if the teacher is not just, then lost...
...is the spirit of justice in youth for certain
If the teacher's insight lapses for a moment...
...then those under his tutelage will lack vision
If guidance and counsel are based on whim...
...and on arrogance, then call that misguidance.

by Ahmad Shawqi.

An Old Lesson From The Fields

Even as I watched the daylight how it sped
From noon till eve, and saw the light wind pass
In long pale waves across the flashing grass,
And heard through all my dreams, wherever led,
The thin cicada singing overhead,
I felt what joyance all this nature has,
And saw myself made clear as in a glass,
How that my soul was for the most part dead.

Oh, light, I cried, and, heaven, with all your blue,
Oh, earth, with all your sunny fruitfulness,
And ye, tall lillies, of the wind-vexed field,
What power and beauty life indeed might yield,
Could we but cast away its conscious stress,
Simple of heart, becoming even as you.

by Archibald Lampman.

In A School Chapel

THE clear young voices rise and soar: 'Oh, pray
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they
Shall prosper that love thee.' Yet each boy's heart
Harbors the hope that he may have a part
In war- the roar of guns, the roll of drums ­
Before this anthemed peace he prays for comes.
But in the quiet gallery above
Where eyes grown dim look down on those they love
The prayer for peace rings true; although in truth
Worse things than death can come to eager youth.
But nothing worse can come to age than knowing
That it is safe, and boys are going, going,
Are going forth to war till all wars cease:
The old, so safe and lonely, pray for peace.

by Alice Duer Miller.

On Leaving Winchester School

The spring shall visit thee again,
Itchin! and yonder ancient fane,
That casts its shadow on thy breast,
As if, by many winters beat,
The blooming season it would greet,
With many a straggling wild-flower shall be dressed.

But I, amid the youthful train
That stray at evening by thy side,
No longer shall a guest remain,
To mark the spring's reviving pride.
I go not unrejoicing; but who knows,
When I have shared, O world! thy common woes,
Returning I may drop some natural tears;
As these same fields I look around,
And hear from yonder dome the slow bell sound,
And think upon the joys that crowned my stripling years!

by William Lisle Bowles.

A Poet! He Hath Put His Heart To School

. A poet!--He hath put his heart to school,
Nor dares to move unpropped upon the staff
Which art hath lodged within his hand--must laugh
By precept only, and shed tears by rule.
Thy Art be Nature; the live current quaff,
And let the groveller sip his stagnant pool,
In fear that else, when Critics grave and cool
Have killed him, Scorn should write his epitaph.
How does the Meadow-flower its bloom unfold?
Because the lovely little flower is free
Down to its root, and, in that freedom, bold;
And so the grandeur of the Forest-tree
Comes not by casting in a formal mould,
But from its own divine vitality.

by William Wordsworth.

Sonnet 56: Fie, School Of Patience

Fie, school of Patience, fie! your lesson is
Far, far too long to learn it without book:
What, a whole week without one piece of look,
And think I should not your large precepts miss?

When I might read those letters fair of bliss,
Which in her face teach virtue, I could brook
Somewhat thy leaden counsels, which I took
As of a friend that meant not much amiss:

But now that I, alas, do want her sight,
What, dost thou think that I can ever take
In thy cold stuff a phlegmatic delight?

No, Patience, if thou wilt my good, then make
Her come, and hear with patience my desire,
And then with patience bid me bear my fire.

by Sir Philip Sidney.

A Lesson In Humility

'Tis time, my soul, thou shouldst be purged of pride.
What men are these with thee, whose ill deeds done
Make thee thus shrink from them and be denied?
They are but as thou art, each mother's son
A convict in transgression. Here is one,
Sayest thou, who struck his fellow and he died.
And yet he weeps hot tears. Do thy tears run?
This other thieved, yet clasps Christ crucified.

Where is thy greater virtue? Thinkest thou sin
Is but crime's record on the judgment seat?
Or must thou wait for death to be bowed down?
Oh for a righteous reading which should join
Thy deeds together in an accusing sheet,
And leave thee if thou couldst, to face men's frown!

by Wilfrid Scawen Blunt.

There! little girl; don't cry!
They have broken your doll, I know;
And your tea-set blue,
And your play-house, too,
Are things of the long ago;
But childish troubles will soon pass by. --
There! little girl; don't cry!

There! little girl; don't cry!
They have broken your slate, I know;
And the glad, wild ways
Of your schoolgirl days
Are things of the long ago;
But life and love will soon come by. --
There! little girl; don't cry!

There! little girl; don't cry!
They have broken your heart I know;
And the rainbow gleams
Of your youthful dreams
Are things of the long ago;
But Heaven holds all for which you sigh. --
There! little girl; don't cry!

by James Whitcomb Riley.

The Music-Lesson

A thrush alit on a young-leaved spray,
And, lightly clinging,
It rocked in its singing
As the rapturous notes rose loud and gay;
And with liquid shakes,
And trills and breaks,
Rippled though blossoming bough of May.

Like a ball of fluff, with a warm brown throat
And throbbing bosom,
'Mid the apple-blossom,
The new-fledged nestling sat learning by rote
To echo the song
So tender and strong,
As it feebly put in its frail little note.

O blissfullest lesson amid the green grove!
The low wind crispeth
The leaves, where lispeth
The shy little bird with its parent above;
Two voices that mingle
And make but a single
Hymn of rejoicing in praise of their love.

by Mathilde Blind.

I slept when Venus enter'd: to my bed
A Cupid in her beauteous hand she led,
A bashful seeming boy, and thus she said:
'Shepherd, receive my little one! I bring
An untaught love, whom thou must teach to sing.'
She said, and left him. I, suspecting nought,
Many a sweet strain my subtle pupil taught,
How reed to reed Pan first with osier bound,
How Pallas form'd the pipe of softest sound,
How Hermes gave the lute, and how the quire
Of Phoebus owe to Phoebus' self the lyre.
Such were my themes; my themes nought heeded he
But ditties sang of amorous sort to me.
The pangs that mortals and immortals prove
From Venus' influence and the darts of love.
Thus was the teacher by the pupil taught;
His lessons I retain'd, he mine forgot.

by William Cowper.

One lesson let us bear in mind-
Be very gentle with our own,
Be to their faults a little blind,
Nor wound them by a look or tone.

Put self behind! turn tender eyes;
Keep back the words that hurt and sting;
We learn, when sorrow makes us wise,
Forbearance is the grandest thing.

Be patient lest some day we turn
Our eyes on loved one fast asleep,
And whisper, as we lean and yearn,
'How often I have made you weep!

'Some loved you not and words let fall
That must have pierced your gentle breast,
But I, who loved you best of all,
Hurt you far more than all the rest.'

One lesson let us keep in mind-
To hold our dear ones close and fast,
Since loyal hearts are hard to find,
And life and love so soon are past.

by Jean Blewett.

On Looking Through An Old Punishment Book [at Eurunderee School]

I took the book of punishment,
And ran its columns down;
I started with an open brow
And ended with a frown;
I noted long-forgotten names –
They took me unaware;
I noted old familiar names.
But my names wasn’t there!

I thought of what I might have been,
And Oh! My heart was pained
To find, of all the scholars there,
That I was never caned!
I thought of wasted childhood hours,
And a tear rolled down my cheek –
I must have been a model boy,
Which means a little sneak!

“Oh, give me back my youth again!”
Doc Faustus used to say –
I only wish the Powers could give
My boyhood for a day,
A model boy! Beloved of girls!
Despised by boys and men!
But it comforts me to think that I’ve
Made up for it since then.

by Henry Lawson.


IS reform needed? Is it through you?
The greater the reform needed, the greater the personality you need
to accomplish it.

You! do you not see how it would serve to have eyes, blood,
complexion, clean and sweet?
Do you not see how it would serve to have such a Body and Soul, that
when you enter the crowd, an atmosphere of desire and command
enters with you, and every one is impress'd with your
personality?

O the magnet! the flesh over and over!
Go, dear friend! if need be, give up all else, and commence to-day to
inure yourself to pluck, reality, self-esteem, definiteness,
elevatedness;
Rest not, till you rivet and publish yourself of your own
personality.

by Walt Whitman.

A Christmas Tree

To night the children meet with glee
To view the fruits on Christmas Tree,
And when its beauties we behold
We're very sorry we are old.
The children all they have good cause
To feel grateful to old Santa Claus,
And to each teacher, and each friend,
Who did these handsome presents send.
To us it is a pleasant treat,
With so many friends here to meet,
You've well conducted public school
Where master doth judicious rule ;
The union it doth give its strength,
Gives section breadth, as well as length.
Nissouri here should build a Hall,
For exhibitions in the Fall;
Its claims they cannot be ignored,
For first in township stands Thamesford.
This village keeps up with the age,
For it hath a good daily stage
And in its efforts never fails
To carry passengers and mails.

by James McIntyre.

On A Change Of Masters At A Great Public School

WHERE are those honours, Ida! once yow own,
When Probus fill'd your magisterial throne?
As ancient Rome, fast falling to disgrace,
Hail'd a barbarian in her Cæsar's place,
So you, degenerate, share as hard a fate,
And seat Pomposus where your Probus sate.
Of narrow brain, yet of a narrower soul,
Pomposus holds you in his harsh control;
Pomposus, by no social virtue sway'd,
With florid jargon, and with vain parade;
With noisy nonsense, and new-fangled rules,
Such as were ne'er before enforced in schools
Mistaking pedantry for learning's laws,
He governs, sanction'd but by self applause;
With him the same dire fate attending Rome,
Ill-fated Ida! soon must stamp your doom;
Like her o'erthrown, for ever lost to fame,
No trace of science left you, but the name.

July 1805.

by George Gordon Byron.

Life's Lesson Book

Life is a ponderous lesson-book, and Fate
The teacher. When I came to love's fair leaf
My teacher turned the page and bade me wait.
'Learn first,' she said, 'love's grief';
And o'er and o'er through many a long tomorrow
She kept me conning that sad page of sorrow.


Cruel the task; and yet it was not vain.
Now the great book of life I know by heart.
In that one lesson of love's loss and pain
Fate doth the whole impart.
For, by the depths of woe, the mind can measure
The beauteous unscaled summits of love's pleasure.


Now, with the book of life upon her knee,
Fate sits! the unread page of love's delight
By her firm hand is half concealed from me,
And half revealed to sight.
Ah Fate! be kind! so well I learned love's sorrow,
Give me its full delight to learn tomorrow.

by Ella Wheeler Wilcox.

Hymn For The Use Of The Sunday School At Olney

Hear, Lord, the song of praise and prayer,
In heaven thy dwelling-place,
From infants, made the public care,
And taught to seek thy face!

Thanks for thy word and for thy day;
And grant us, we implore,
Never to waste in sinful play
Thy holy Sabbaths more.

Thanks that we hear,--but oh! impart
To each desires sincere,
That we may listen with our heart,
And learn as well as hear.

For if vain thoughts the minds engage
Of elder far than we,
What hope that at our heedless age
Our minds should e'er be free?

Much hope, if thou our spirits take
Under thy gracious sway,
Who canst the wisest wiser make,
And babes as wise as they.

Wisdom and bliss thy word bestows,
A sun that ne'er declines;
And be thy mercies showered on those
Who placed us where it shines.

by William Cowper.

A Builder's Lesson

'HOW shall I a habit break?'
As you did that habit make.
As you gathered, you must lose;
As you yielded, now refuse.
Thread by thread the strands we twist
Till they bind us neck and wrist;
Thread by thread the patient hand
Must untwine ere free we stand.
As we builded, stone by stone,
We must toil unhelped, alone,
Till the wall is overthrown.

But remember, as we try,
Lighter every test goes by;
Wading in, the stream grows deep
Toward the center's downward sweep;
Backward turn, each step ashore
Shallower is than that before.

Ah, the precious years we waste
Leveling what we raised in haste;
Doing what must be undone
Ere content or love be won!
First across the gulf we cast
Kite-borne threads, till lines are passed,
And habit builds the bridge at last!

by John Boyle O'Reilly.

Come, Pretty School-Girl!

On this rolling planet ever have you seen
A home so like a palace waiting for its queen? --
A dwelling place so fair,
So fill'd with treasures rare,
As the little white cottage on Evergreen Square?

Come, pretty school girl! lay your books aside;
Yes graduate tomorrow -- tomorrow be my bride;
My fortune share,
And reign queen there,
In the little white cottage on Evergreen Square.

Red as are the roses climbing on its wall,
Your cheeks of richer crimson shall out-bloom them all.
Your eyes (beyond compare)
A brighter gleam shall wear,
In the little white cottage on Everygreen Square.

Flow'rs of rarest fragrance all the year shall bloom,
And singing birds make music in your chosen room.
Come, breathe its balmy air!
Come, charm away my care,
In the little white cottage on Everygreen Square.

by Henry Clay Work.

TO ------.

Bright Aspasia! say—how is it?
Tell us with what spell is rife
Smile of thine, whose briefest visit
Wakes each dullest clod to life?
Zephyr shall we type thee, thawing
Vernal flower from Arctic block?
Or some Attic sun-beam, drawing
Hidden oil from rudest rock?
Or believe thee sprite of ages?
Very Her, whom Socrates
Worshipped more than all the Sages,
All the vaunted Seven of Greece.

And their systems throwing over
For the lessons of her eyes,
Happy pupil! happier lover!
Doubly won his name of 'Wise.'
So come thou, delicious preacher!
Orator—of sparkling looks!
Come, like Her, and be our teacher;
Better far than all the books.
Book-worm pedants but benight us;
Cumbrous setting clouds the gem.
Bring but thy bright smile to light us,
And who'd go for fogs to them?

by John Kenyon.

Politics For Tots: Lesson 2~ &Quot;The Party&Quot;

Now, children, in this Lesson Two,
Briefly we'll make some mention
Of party, just in case that you
Some day, with the intention
Of furthering ambitions grand,
May seek to serve your native land.

You join a Party, first of all
This move is most essential.
Your Private Views you must recall,
They're quite unconsequential;
For if you'd be a Party Man
You must cleave to the Party Plan.

Either you must be Black or White;
Browns, Drabs and Greys don't matter.
If you choose White, White's always right,
If Black, then with the latter
Rests all Wisdom in the Land.
You've got to Barrack for your Brand.

But, children, there's a chance you may
With Obstinate Persistence
Incline to Fawn, or Cream or Grey,
Then you can't Make the Distance.
You'll keep your Soul; but I'm afraid
You'll have to learn some Nicer Trade.

by Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis.

Children's Reply

We are little children,
That go to Sabbath school,
To hear of our Redeemer,
Likewise the golden rule.

We will try and do our duty,
To friends and parents dear,
We will try and do our duty,
Their loving hearts to cheer.

CHORUS:

We are little children,
That love to go to school,
We love to hear of Jesus,
And learn the golden rule.

We will love our parents,
With all our little hearts;
Yes, we will obey them,
We will not from duty part,

For oh, we know they love us,
Though wayward we may be --
Their heart it never changes,
From our little infancy.

We will love our schoolmates,
Likewise our teacher, dear,
For loving words of kindness
From them we often hear.

And we will not forget them,
Those friends so kind and true,
For in the ten commandments
They tell us what to do.

by Julia Ann Moore.

Absence: A Farewell Ode On Quitting School For Jesus College

Where graced with many a classic spoil
Cam rolls his reverend stream along,
I haste to urge the learned toil
That sternly chides my love-lorn song:
Ah me! too mindful of the days
Illumed by Passion's orient rays,
When peace, and Cheerfulness, and Health
Enriched me with the best of wealth.

Ah fair Delights! that o'er my soul
On Memory's wing, like shadows fly!
Ah Flowers! which Joy from Eden stole
While Innocence stood smiling by!
But cease, fond Heart! this bootless moan:
Those Hours on rapid Pinions flown
Shall yet return, by Absence crowned,
And scatter livelier roses round.

The Sun who ne'er remits his fires
On heedless eyes may pour the day:
The Moon, that oft from Heaven retires,
Endears her renovated ray.
What though she leave the sky unblest
To mourn awhile in murky vest?
When she relumes her lovely Light,
We bless the Wanderer of the Night.

by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.