School Poems - Poems For School - In School-Days

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In School-Days - Poem by John Greenleaf Whittier

Still sits the school-house by the road,
A ragged beggar sleeping;
Around it still the sumachs grow,
And blackberry-vines are creeping.

Within, the master's desk is seen,
Deep-scarred by raps official;
The warping floor, the battered seats,
The jack-knife's carved initial;

The charcoal frescoes on its wall;
Its door's worn sill, betraying
The feet that, creeping slow to school,
Went storming out to playing!

Long years ago a winter sun
Shone over it at setting;
Lit up its western window-panes,
And low eaves' icy fretting.

It touched the tangled golden curls,
And brown eyes full of grieving,
Of one who still her steps delayed
When all the school were leaving.

For near it stood the little boy
Her childish favor singled;
His cap pulled low upon a face
Where pride and shame were mingled.

Pushing with restless feet the snow
To right and left, he lingered;---
As restlessly her tiny hands
The blue-checked apron fingered.

He saw her lift her eyes; he felt
The soft hand's light caressing,
And heard the tremble of her voice,
As if a fault confessing.

"I'm sorry that I spelt the word:
I hate to go above you,
Because,"---the brown eyes lower fell,---
"Because, you see, I love you!"

Still memory to a gray-haired man
That sweet child-face is showing.
Dear girl! the grasses on her grave
Have forty years been growing!

He lives to learn, in life's hard school,
How few who pass above him
Lament their triumph and his loss,
Like her, because they love him.


Comments about In School-Days by John Greenleaf Whittier

  • Gold Star - 10,419 Points Sylva-onyema Uba (2/19/2017 1:40:00 AM)

    He lives to learn, in life's hard school
    How few who pass above him
    Lament their triumph and his loss,
    Like her, because they love him.

    Nicely written and well communicated.

    Sylva-Onyema Uba (Report) Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Gold Star - 65,466 Points * Sunprincess * (2/11/2016 5:52:00 PM)

    ............wonderfully penned...perfect rhythm...perfect flow ★ (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 0 Points Charles Baldwin (10/27/2015 1:00:00 AM)

    For those who are asking about the wording of the poem (sunning/running vs. sleeping/creeping) , I consulted my copy of The Complete Poetical Works of Whittier, Cambridge Edition,9th printing, and it has the sleeping/creeping version. It's likely that the other version was published in an earlier work. In the Publishers' Note of my edition, it states, For this edition the poet furnished introductions and head-notes, and in many cases revised the text. (Report) Reply

Read all 10 comments »

Poems About School

  1. 1. First Day At School , Roger McGough
  2. 2. In School-Days , John Greenleaf Whittier
  3. 3. School Is Not So Cool , Chantel Braatz
  4. 4. The Flower-School , Rabindranath Tagore
  5. 5. Among School Children , William Butler Yeats
  6. 6. School Just School , kerri king
  7. 7. September, The First Day Of School , Howard Nemerov
  8. 8. On Old Man's Thought Of School , Walt Whitman
  9. 9. The School Of Metaphysics , Charles Simic
  10. 10. Address To The Scholars Of The Village S.. , William Wordsworth
  11. 11. A School Song , Rudyard Kipling
  12. 12. Stay In School , Leon Thomas Lee
  13. 13. Lines Written As A School Exercise At Ha.. , William Wordsworth
  14. 14. School School School , somebody u will never know
  15. 15. The Junior High School Band Concert , David Wagoner
  16. 16. School , Dwayne Earle Gordon
  17. 17. Sonnet: On School-Life , Dr. A.Celestine Raj Manohar ..
  18. 18. School , Jamie Parker
  19. 19. Going Back To School , Stephen Vincent Benet
  20. 20. Kitchener's School , Rudyard Kipling
  21. 21. Going To School , Clarence Michael James Stani ..
  22. 22. M. Degas Teaches Art &Amp; Science At Du.. , Philip Levine
  23. 23. The Latest School , Gilbert Keith Chesterton
  24. 24. School Rhymes , James Clerk Maxwell
  25. 25. School , Miss Smiley face
  26. 26. The Old Bark School , Henry Lawson
  27. 27. Tests And Homework And Quizzes And School , David Kulczyk
  28. 28. The Prelude, Book 1: Childhood And Schoo.. , William Wordsworth
  29. 29. On The School Bus , Alison Cassidy
  30. 30. High School Slinger , Omar Ali Sabar
  31. 31. School , Samantha Holstiene
  32. 32. Come, Pretty School-Girl! , Henry Clay Work
  33. 33. The Journey From School And To School , Charles Lamb
  34. 34. The Old School List , James Kenneth Stephen
  35. 35. O The Pressures Of School , Fidelis Patronus
  36. 36. (01) A Farewell To My School , Lubna S. Khan
  37. 37. Senryu - Back To School , Don Haney
  38. 38. The Prelude, Book 2: School-Time (Contin.. , William Wordsworth
  39. 39. A Little Girl's First School Day , Ben Gieske
  40. 40. (009) My School Conducts Athletic Meet , Risha Ahmed (12 yrs)
  41. 41. I Sent My Child To School Today , Doug Hollywood Davis
  42. 42. 'An Old School Valentine' , Linda Winchell
  43. 43. Leaving School , Jane Tomlin
  44. 44. School , logan dillie
  45. 45. A School Is So Not Cool , fahed sharaf
  46. 46. Walking Through High School , Heather Hill
  47. 47. School , Brian Aji
  48. 48. (117) I’m Late For School , Risha Ahmed (12 yrs)
  49. 49. At The School Of Sternness , Chuck Audette
  50. 50. In School , Elorm Dogbo
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