The First School Day

Alice Guerin Crist

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We are saddling Don and Laddie,
Mid laughter, and fun and noise
And maybe, a sigh in passing
For vanished holiday joys.

And Mother is cutting lunches,
There are only four as a rule,
But to-day another is added,
For Baby is going to school.

‘You’ll take her on Laddie between you,
And hold her tight at the creek.”
And Mother parts with her darling
With a kiss on her dimpled cheek.

“You needn’t be fwightened.” Says baby,
“I’ll be as wight as tan be,
I’LL give Sister our names, and I’ll tell her
That ‘Mary Beronica’s’- me.”

Oh, the breath of the summer morning,
The gleam of dew on the grass,
The incense of white gum blossoms
That strew our path as we pass.

While Mickey and Pat go racing
Over flats where the grass is green-
But Eileen and I ride slowly
Guarding our treasure between.

She loves every mile of the journey,
And shouts with delight at the creek,
Where under the blossomed tea-trees
The ripples play hide and seek.

And full of delight is the township
With its red-roofed houses gay,
Though Baby would love to linger
At the toy-shover over the way.

But the nine o’clock bell is sounding
From the door of the Convent school
Where our darling finds, to her pleasure,
Another kingdom to rule.

With a brand new desk in the corner,
A pencil and slate of her own,
In the sunshine of Sister’s welcome
She sits – a queen on her throne.

But drowsily hums the insects
Round the bougainvillea flower,
And drowsy and warm in the morning,
So long ere the luncheon hour,

Kind Sister has drawn the blind down
Making a shady nook,
Where ‘Mary Beronica’ slumbers
With her golden head on her book.

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