The School Girl

William Henry Venable

From some sweet home, the morning train
Brings to the city,
Five days a week, in sun or rain,
Returning like a song’s refrain,
A school girl pretty.

A wild flower’s unaffected grace
Is dainty miss’s;
Yet in her shy, expressive face
The touch of urban arts I trace-
And artifices.

No one but she and Heaven knows
Of what she ’s thinking:
It may be either books or beaux
Fine scholarship or stylish clothes
Per cents or prinking.

How happy must the household be,
This morn that kissed her;
Not every one can make so free;
Who sees her, inly wishes she
Were his own sister.

How favored is the book she cons,
The slate she uses,
The hat she lightly doffs and dons
The orient sunshade that she owns
The desk she chooses!

Is she familiar with the wars
Of Julius Cæsar?
Do crucibles and Leyden jars,
And French, and earth, and sun, and stars
And Euclid, please her?

She studies music, I opine;
O day of knowledge!
And all the other arts divine
Of imitation and design,
Taught in the college.

A charm attends her everywhere,—
A sense of beauty;
Care smiles to see her free of care;
The hard heart loves her unaware;
Age pays her duty.

She is protected by the sky;
Good spirits tend her;
Her innocence is panoply;
God’s wrath must on the miscreant lie
Who dares offend her!

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