Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE OLD SCHOOL-CHUM, by JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY

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THE OLD SCHOOL-CHUM, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: He puts the poem by, to say
Last Line: His eyes are not themselves to-day.
Alternate Author Name(s): Johnson Of Boone, Benj. F.
Subject(s): Poetry & Poets; Schools; Tears; Students

HE puts the poem by, to say
His eyes are not themselves today!

A sudden glamour o'er his sight --
A something vague, indefinite --

An oft-recurring blur that blinds
The printed meaning of the lines,

And leaves the mind all dusk and dim
In swimming darkness -- strange to him!

It is not childishness, I guess, --
Yet something of the tenderness

That used to wet his lashes when
A boy seems troubling him again; --

The old emotion, sweet and wild,
That drove him truant when a child,

That he might hide the tears that fell
Above the lesson -- "little Nell."

And so it is he puts aside
The poem he has vainly tried

To follow; and, as one who sighs
In failure, through a poor disguise

Of smiles, he dries his tears, to say
His eyes are not themselves to-day.

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