The Old School House

Melody - Henry Russell, 1841 (1812-1900)

Park Benjamin

On the village green it stood,
And a tree was at the door,
Whose shadow, broad and good,
Reached far along the floor
Of the school-room, when the sun
Put on his crimson vest,
And, his daily labour done,
Like a monarch sunk to rest.

How the threshold wood was worn!
How the lintel post decay'd!
By the tread at eve and morn,
Of the feet that o'er it stray'd
By the pressure of the crowd
Within the portal small
By the ivy's emerald shroud
That wrapped and darken'd all.
  That school-house dim and old,
How many years have flown
Since in its little fold
My name was kindly known!
How different it seems
From what it used to be,
When, gay as morning dreams,
We played around the tree!

How we watched the lengthened ray
Through the dusty window-pane!
How we longed to be away
And at sport upon the plain,
To leave the weary books
And the master's careful eye,
For the flowers and for the brooks,
And the cool and open sky.

Alas! where now are they,
My early comrades dear,
Departed far away,
And I alone am here!
Some are in distant climes;
And some in churchyard cold
Yet it tells of happy times,
That school-house dim and old!

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