At school I sometimes read a book,
by James Kenneth Stephen
And learned a lot of lessons;
Some small amount of pains I took,
And showed much acquiescence
In what my masters said, good men!
Yet after all I quite
Forgot the most of it: but then
I learned to write.
At Lincoln's Inn I'd read a brief,
Abstract a title, study
Great paper-piles, beyond belief
Inelegant and muddy:
The whole of these as time went by
I soon forgot: indeed
I tried to: yes: but by and by
I learned to read.
By help of Latin, Greek and Law
I now can write and read too:
Then perish each forgotten saw,
Each fact I do not need too:
But still whichever way I turn
At one sad task I stick:
I fear that I shall never learn