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The Village Schoolmaster
(10 November 1730 – 4 April 1774 / County Longford / Ireland)

The Village Schoolmaster

Poem By Oliver Goldsmith

Beside yon straggling fence that skirts the way
With blossom'd furze unprofitably gay,
There, in his noisy mansion, skill'd to rule,
The village master taught his little school;
A man severe he was, and stern to view,
I knew him well, and every truant knew;
Well had the boding tremblers learn'd to trace
The days disasters in his morning face;
Full well they laugh'd with counterfeited glee,
At all his jokes, for many a joke had he:
Full well the busy whisper, circling round,
Convey'd the dismal tidings when he frown'd:
Yet he was kind; or if severe in aught,
The love he bore to learning was in fault.
The village all declar'd how much he knew;
'Twas certain he could write, and cipher too:
Lands he could measure, terms and tides presage,
And e'en the story ran that he could gauge.
In arguing too, the parson own'd his skill,
For e'en though vanquish'd he could argue still;
While words of learned length and thund'ring sound
Amazed the gazing rustics rang'd around;
And still they gaz'd and still the wonder grew,
That one small head could carry all he knew.
But past is all his fame. The very spot
Where many a time he triumph'd is forgot.

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Comments (4)

I remember my old school days... really missing those days. The principal in the poem and our principal were same... (Full well they laugh'd with counterfeited glee, At all his jokes, for many a joke had he :) I still can remember how I laughed.. missing my Village school very much.
Nice piece of work. Thanks for sharing this poem with us. E.K.L.
my seminar topic.....! ! ! ! !
.........a wonderful dedication to the school teacher....enjoyed..


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