The School on the Hill

And do you remember those years long ago

When we trudged through the mud and the deeply piled snow

To that little old schoolhouse just over the hill?

(I went back last summer and found it there still.)

I think you remember that kindly old man

Who taught all those years. Now recall if you can

The Halloween prank that the boys played on him--

Wheels changed on his buggy--his hand long and slim

He waved in farewell as he drove on his way

Calling, "My! This old carriage is wobbling today."

Remember the songs that he taught us to sing?

(A master musician) The echoes still ring

And resound in that silent and hallowed old room

That now is untouched by a duster or broom.

Remember the morals he told us about?

That we should speak softly, not roughly; nor shout;

That we could live simply yet walk with the great;

That fame often entered a small country gate;

"Opportunity knocks on a worthy man's door;

For Abraham Lincoln was humble, yet wore

The badge of distinction through hard honest work."

And we could do likewise if we would not shirk

But answer the challenge for growth in our town.

The boys of that class are now men of renown;

The girls who once charmed with their sweet country grace

Are dignified matrons who mother the race.

The world may not know of that school on the hill,

The dreams it awakened in Nellie and Will,

But folks will be better because it was there.

The floors are now sagging, the old room is bare,

The plaster is falling--the years bring decay,

But its soul lingers on and is living today.

The songs and the lessons it taught in the past,

The virtues and beauties, forever, will last.

The American Bard