Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE OLD SCHOOL HOUSE, by ALEXANDER ANDERSON

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

THE OLD SCHOOL HOUSE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Ah! Often when coming from labour
Last Line: And the village far away.
Alternate Author Name(s): Surfaceman
Subject(s): Aging; Memory

AH! often when coming from labour,
When I hear the children play,
There rises within me a vision
Of the school-house far away --

The old, dark, humble school-house,
That stood by the little stream
That babbled and splash'd in the sunshine,
Or slipp'd into pools to dream.

And, again, as I think of my childhood,
And its circle of sunny land,
Comes the wish to stand by that streamlet,
As of old I used to stand --

Just to listen again to its murmurs
As I did in that early time,
When my life -- before and behind me --
Had the ring of a poet's rhyme:

Or to stand on the bridge with the children,
And give one long, deep shout,
That might sweep from my bosom's chamber
The dust of manhood out.

For I weary and fret at the knowledge
This manhood has brought to me,
And forever look back with a longing
To the glory that used to be.

But vain is that pent-up yearning,
And wish for the summer gleam
That ran through my young existence,
Like the plot through a fairy's dream.

It has sunk away as the sunshine
May fade from the breast of a hill,
And the shadow that now is around me
Is misty and drear and chill.

But still, when I come from my labour,
If I hear the children play,
Then my heart goes back to the school-house
And the village far away.

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