I met her, and of her I asked
To tell me, if she could,
Some facts about the village school,
Of girls, she said she would.

Then quickly I wrote down
As she to me related,
And after tried to rhyme the whole
Exactly as she stated.

The school, she said, you know doth stand
Upon an eminence small,
No building is it tall and grand,
But then it held us all.

Now its gray walls enclose a space
That won’t accommodate,
Because the village populace
Increased at such a rate.

Another school is being built,
A modern, roomy place,
Yet never will its annals be
Such as the old can trace.

How often of those golden days
Of happiness I drea,
Though many a year has fled since then,
Like yesterday they seem.

A merry lot of girls were we,
A prankish laughing throng,
Heedless of slap or wise reproof,
Though often in the wrong.

One daily practice we enjoyed,
It gave us food for laughter,
And often it has been recalled,
And often will hereafter.

Betwixt the schools of girls and boys,
A door but intervened,
And all our teachers thought that we
Effectually were screened.

Necessity supplied a means
To our complete elation,
A latch-hole in the door supplied
A sure communication.

The morning hours passed swiftly by,
And it was time for play,
This was the merriest half-hour
We spent of all the day.

Our “piece” consumed, our thoughts we bore
To various games of fun,
“Round rings,” “fool Tom,” and many more,
We tried them one by one.

And often when the bell rang out
A summons to come in,
We heeded not, nor stayed the rout,
But raised a bigger din.

And then when tired of play, in fear
Of righteous chastment,
To beg the Master’s kindly aid,
Our girlish steps we bent.

Oft did he save us, but more oft
We tried another dodge,
No safer plan than this within
Our fertile minds took lodge.

Our factor was a monitor,
In secret trepidation,
Full many a rod he broke, and earned
A gallant reputation.

The hour of work we welcomed all,
For slyly on our benches
We sat, and laughingly we played
At “whispering consequences.”

Until the little clock struck three,
And school for us was o’er,
Oft went we home, more often we
Still played about till four.

Would I could live it o’er again,
My childhood, careless, free,
She stop’t, and sighed, and then farewell,
She bade me hastily.

November 1899

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