Two Schools

I put my heart to school
In the world, where men grow wise,
"Go out," I said, "and learn the rule;
Come back when you win a prize."

My heart came back again:
"Now where is the prize?" I cried. ----
"The rule was false, and the prize was pain,
And the teacher's name was Pride."

Upon The Lark and The Fowler

Thou simple bird, what makes thou here to play?
Look, there's the fowler, pr'ythee come away.
Do'st not behold the net? Look there, 'tis spread,
Venture a little further, thou art dead.
Is there not room enough in all the field
For thee to play in, but thou needs must yield
To the deceitful glitt'ring of a glass,
Plac'd betwixt nets, to bring thy death to pass?
Bird, if thou art so much for dazzling light,
Look, there's the sun above thee; dart upright;
Thy nature is to soar up to the sky,

To a Mountain

To thee, O father of the stately peaks,
Above me in the loftier light -- to thee,
Imperial brother of those awful hills
Whose feet are set in splendid spheres of flame,
Whose heads are where the gods are, and whose sides
Of strength are belted round with all the zones
Of all the world, I dedicate these songs.
And if, within the compass of this book,
There lives and glows ONE verse in which there beats
The pulse of wind and torrent -- if ONE line
Is here that like a running water sounds,

The Two Thieves

O now that the genius of Bewick were mine,
And the skill which he learned on the banks of the Tyne.
Then the Muses might deal with me just as they chose,
For I'd take my last leave both of verse and of prose.

What feats would I work with my magical hand!
Book-learning and books should be banished the land:
And, for hunger and thirst and such troublesome calls,
Every ale-house should then have a feast on its walls.

The Teacher's Monologue

THE room is quiet, thoughts alone
People its mute tranquillity;
The yoke put on, the long task done,­
I am, as it is bliss to be,
Still and untroubled. Now, I see,
For the first time, how soft the day
O'er waveless water, stirless tree,
Silent and sunny, wings its way.
Now, as I watch that distant hill,
So faint, so blue, so far removed,
Sweet dreams of home my heart may fill,
That home where I am known and loved:
It lies beyond; yon azure brow
Parts me from all Earth holds for me;

The Table Turned

Up! up! my Friend, and quit your books;
Or surely you'll grow double:
Up! up! my Friend, and clear your looks;
Why all this toil and trouble?

The sun, above the mountain's head,
A freshening lustre mellow
Through all the long green fields has spread,
His first sweet evening yellow.

Books! 'tis a dull and endless strife:
Come, hear the woodland linnet,
How sweet his music! on my life,
There's more of wisdom in it.

The Survivor

I am twenty-four
led to slaughter
I survived.

The following are empty synonyms:
man and beast
love and hate
friend and foe
darkness and light.

The way of killing men and beasts is the same
I've seen it:
truckfuls of chopped-up men
who will not be saved.

Ideas are mere words:
virtue and crime
truth and lies
beauty and ugliness
courage and cowardice.

Virtue and crime weigh the same
I've seen it:
in a man who was both
criminal and virtuous.

The Spring

(After Rilke)

Spring has returned! Everything has returned!
The earth, just like a schoolgirl, memorizes
Poems, so many poems. ... Look, she has learned
So many famous poems, she has earned so many prizes!

Teacher was strict. We delighted in the white
Of the old man's beard, bright like the snow's:
Now we may ask which names are wrong, or right
For "blue," for "apple," for "ripe." She knows, she knows!

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