Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE TRUANT BOYS, by ANN TAYLOR

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

THE TRUANT BOYS, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: The month was august and the morning cool
Last Line: Of this poor truant lad.
Subject(s): Boys; Schools; Truancy; Students

THE month was August and the morning cool,
When Hal and Ned,
To walk together to the neighbouring school,
Rose early from their bed.

When near the school Hal said, "Why con your task,
Demure and prim?
Ere we go in, let me one question ask,
Ned, shall we go and swim?"

Fearless of future punishment and blame,
Away they hied,
Through many a verdant field, until they came
Unto the river's side.

The broad stream narrow'd in its onward course,
And deep and still
It silent ran, and yet with rapid force,
To turn a neighbouring mill.

Under the mill an arch gaped wide, and seem'd
The jaws of death!
Through this the smooth deceitful waters teemed
On dreadful wheels beneath.

They swim the river wide, nor think nor care:
The waters flow,
And by the current strong they carried are
Into the mill-stream now.

Through the swift waters as young Ned was roll'd,
The gulf when near,
On a kind brier by chance he laid fast hold,
And stopped his dread career.

But luckless Hal was by the mill-wheel torn;—
A warning sad!
And the untimely death all friends now mourn,
Of this poor truant lad.

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