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