Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
651. The School Girl
By 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.        5
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.        10
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.        15
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.        20
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!        25
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?        30
She studies music, I opine;
      O day of knowledge!
And all the other arts divine,
Of imitation and design,
      Taught in the college.        35
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.        40
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!        45


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