English poetry

Poems in English

An Old Man's Thought of School

AN old man’s thought of School;
An old man, gathering youthful memories and blooms, that youth itself cannot.

Now only do I know you!
O fair auroral skies! O morning dew upon the grass!

And these I see-these sparkling eyes,
These stores of mystic meaning-these young lives,
Building, equipping, like a fleet of ships-immortal ships!
Soon to sail out over the measureless seas,
On the Soul’s voyage.

Only a lot of boys and girls?
Only the tiresome spelling, writing, ciphering classes?
Only a Public School?

Ah more-infinitely more;
(As George Fox rais’d his warning cry, “Is it this pile of brick and
mortar-these dead floors, windows, rails-you call the church?
Why this is not the church at all-the Church is living, ever living Souls.”)

And you, America,
Cast you the real reckoning for your present?
The lights and shadows of your future-good or evil?
To girlhood, boyhood look-the Teacher and the School.

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Poem An Old Man's Thought of School - Walt Whitman