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A poem by Jared Barhite

School Days

Title:     School Days
Author: Jared Barhite [More Titles by Barhite]

Can we e'er forget our boyhood,
And the days we spent at school,
With the jolly youths and maidens
Who with pencil for a tool,
Squared the area of a circle,
And minutely did compute
The interest and discount
On a promissory note?

As we worked those "grazing" questions,
We could see the cattle eat;
See the grass grow up by inches
Beneath their cloven feet;
We could surely hear a lowing
That distinctly called our names,
Inviting us to pastures
To enjoy our childish games.

If the day were warm and pleasant,
The calling seemed more clear
Than when chilly winds were sighing,
And the clouds were dark and drear;
It was no imagination,
For a schoolboy's mind is real,
Though we heard that calling often
We answered it with zeal.

Then we worked like real bankers
And claimed "three days of grace;"
Then we figured "hare and greyhound"
In their leaping, jaunty race;
We desired an illustration
Of the problems to be solved,
As no concrete computation
From the abstract e'er evolved.

We solved the size of fishes,
When some fraction and a part
Were all the given bases
To test our "number" art,
But we never were contented
With the fishes in the book,
So we strolled off to the lakeside,
Or down the purling brook.

Then we had some given acres
In the form of perfect square,
And a fence around its border
With a circle must compare,
Which would cost the greater money
To fence it in with rails,
Or build with posts and stringers,
Sawed lumber, and cut nails.

Then we worked upon that problem
Which has never yet been solved,
How to live and be contented
In the scenes life has evolved,
Though in every operation
Much must be inferred,
We will find this root's extraction
Will often prove a surd.

As life's day of sunshine lingers,
Ere the darkness draws apace,
'Tis a blessed satisfaction
To look backward o'er the race,
And feel that in the running,
Our best was ever done,
And know that at the ending,
Some trophy must be won.

Though the eye may lose its clearness
And the touch may lose its thrill,
Though the senses fail to gather
All the promptings of the will,
May the mind retain its power
To recall the days of yore,
Till the spirit casts its anchor
On that far-off unseen shore.

When on that shore safe landed,
It seems to be quite plain
That the greatest satisfaction
Will be to think of youth again;
There must be a great transition
From this mundane sphere below,
If the thoughts of early boyhood
May not set all heaven aglow.

[The end]
Jared Barhite's poem: School Days