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THE SCHOOLMASTER ABROAD WITH HIS SON, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: O what harper could worthily harp it
Last Line: Of seven or eight.
Subject(s): Travel; Journeys; Trips

O WHAT harper could worthily harp it,
Mine Edward! this wide-stretching wold
(Look out wold) with its wonderful carpet
Of emerald, purple, and gold!
Look well at it -- also look sharp, it
Is getting so cold.

The purple is heather (erica);
The yellow, gorse -- call'd sometimes "whin."
Cruel boys on its prickles might spike a
Green beetle as if on a pin.
You may roll in it, if you would like a
Few holes in your skin.

You wouldn't? Then think of how kind you
Should be to the insects who crave
Your compassion -- and then, look behind you
At you barley-ears! Don't they look brave
As they undulate (undulate, mind you,
From unda, a wave).

The noise of those sheep-bells, how faint it
Sounds here -- (on account of our height)!
And this hillock itself -- who could paint it,
With its changes of shadow and light?
Is it not -- (never, Eddy, say "ain't it") --
A marvellous sight?

Then yon desolate eerie morasses,
The haunts of the snipe and the hern --
(I shall question the two upper classes
On aquatiles, when we return) --
Why, I see on them absolute masses
Of filix or fern.

How it interests e'en a beginner
(Or tiro) like dear little Ned!
Is he listening? As I am a sinner
He's asleep -- he is wagging his head.
Wake up! I'll go home to my dinner,
And you to your bed.

The boundless ineffable prairie;
The splendour of mountain and lake
With their hues that seem ever to vary;
The mighty pine-forests which shake
In the wind, and in which the unwary
May tread on a snake;

And this wold with its heathery garment
Are themes undeniably great.
But -- although there is not any harm in't --
It's perhaps little good to dilate
On their charms to a dull little varmint
Of seven or eight.

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