In School-Days

Still sits the school-house by the road,
A ragged beggar sleeping;
Around it still the sumachs grow,
And blackberry-vines are creeping.

by John Greenleaf Whittier Click to read full poem

Comments (14)

Such a dumb
He lives to learn, in life's hard school How few who pass above him Lament their triumph and his loss, Like her, because they love him. Nicely written and well communicated. Sylva-Onyema Uba
............wonderfully penned...perfect rhythm...perfect flow ★
For those who are asking about the wording of the poem (sunning/running vs. sleeping/creeping) , I consulted my copy of The Complete Poetical Works of Whittier, Cambridge Edition,9th printing, and it has the sleeping/creeping version. It's likely that the other version was published in an earlier work. In the Publishers' Note of my edition, it states, For this edition the poet furnished introductions and head-notes, and in many cases revised the text.
The necessary corrections should be made if that is the truth. To think of it, when I'm dead and gone, will my poems remain ever same? nonetheless, this is a better poem, the narrative and the imagery; they really speak!
Whoa! What a beautiful poem! As a former teacher, it really hit home to me. This poem is going on my favorite list. However, some people have commented that the wording is wrong. If that's true, Poem Hunter should be ashamed for not correcting it sooner. One comment saying it's wrong is from almost eight years ago!
Glad I got to read this wonderful poem, glad I joined Poem Hunter!
I also memorized it in 6th or 7th grade and it was the 'winter setting sun' that b rought it to mind and triggered my search of it. The words were definitely beggar sunning and blackberry vines running when I recited it.
The wording is wrong in the first verse, it should be 'sunning' not sleeping, also it should be 'running' not 'creeping.' I also learned this poem in 6th grade.
My mother, now 80 years of age, memorized this poem for a school project. She kept the book of poems that it was in, and when I was in 6th grade, about 9 or 10, I too memorized this from the same book. However, I remember the title being 'School Daze' and the first lst stanza totally different..a ragged beggar sunning, and blackberry vines running. I wonder if I am wrong, was the book wrong or what. I have kept this sweet little poem in my heart tucked away for years, but occasionally bring it forward to verse. I can picture her and her sweetheart perfectly. This is what poetry is to me. A sweet story.
This is one of my favorite poems. I can't conceive of how he could have done it better. It's absolutely stunning. A wonderful write.