Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. I. Of Home: of Friendship
Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume I. Of Home: of Friendship.  1904.
Poems of Home: IV. Youth
The School Girl
William Henry Venable (1836–1920)
From “Saga of the Oaks and other Poems”

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 who 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 dolls 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 Browning, and the moons of Mars,
        And Euclid, please her?        30
She studies music, I opine;
        O day of knowledge!
And other mysteries divine,
Of imitation or 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
Her innocence is panoply,
        Her weakness, power;
The earth her guardian, and the sky;
God’s every star is her ally,
        And every flower.        45

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