In School Days
By John Greenleaf Whittier
Still sits the school house by the road,
A ragged beggar sleeping;
Around it still the sumachs grow,
And blackberry vines are creeping.
Within the master's desk is seen,
Deep scarred by raps official,
The warping floor, the battered seats,
And jack-knives carved initial.
The charcoal frescoes on its wall;
Its door's worn sill betraying
The feet, that creeping slow to school
Went storming out to playing.
Long years ago a winter sun
Shone over it at setting;
Lit up its western window panes,
And low eaves, icy fretting.
It touched the tangled golden curls,
And brown eyes full of grieving,
Of one who still her steps delay
When all the school were leaving.
For near her stood the little boy
Her childish favor singled;
His cap pulled low upon his face
Where pride and shame were mingled.
Pushing with restless feet, the snow
To right and left, he lingered --