Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, BOOKS ET VERITAS, by WILLIAM ROSE BENET



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First Line: When I was a youngster just going to school
Last Line: And I still am convinced that they are.
Subject(s): Classmates; Youth; Schoolmates


When I was a youngster just going to school
(The pitiful tale that one tells!)
My brain ran a-rippling with ballads by Kipling,
I worshipped the earlier Wells.
I often was seen with the Strand Magazine,
I adored Lancelots, Bediveres,
Gobbled Stevenson's fable and Arthur's "Round Table"
And swore by the "Three Musketeers."

When I was as green, yes, as green as the gage
That pouts from a jam I adore,
I wore out "Tom Sawyer" till scarcely a page
But fluttered away to the floor.
I thought Howard Pyle, in his "Wonder Clock" style,
Could hardly be beat by the best;
The thrills that I had in "A Modern Aladdin"
Supplied the infallible test.
When I was untrained and unversed in the arts
I loved Andrew Lang, Edward Lear;
Bought numberless tomes of the great "Sherlock Holmes"
And envied his brilliant career;
In the "Tale of Two Cities" the thrill that is pity's
Conveyed how superb it may still be.
I thought "Kenilworth" was a joy upon earth,
And I simply was dazzled by "Trilby."

When I was a sprig and my standards were low,
Uncritical, unautocratic,
I used to exult in Jack London and Poe,
Which I read in bed, bathroom and attic.
Alas, that's the truth of my terrible youth.
Such the books I thought way above par.
Gee, I thought they were great, in my juvenile state. . . .
And I still am convinced that they are.





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