Poem Hunter
Two Schools
(10 November 1852 – 10 April 1933 / Germantown, Pennsylvania)

Two Schools

Poem By Henry Van Dyke

I put my heart to school
In the world, where men grow wise,
"Go out," I said, "and learn the rule;
Come back when you win a prize."

My heart came back again:
"Now where is the prize?" I cried. ----
"The rule was false, and the prize was pain,
And the teacher's name was Pride."

I put my heart to school
In the woods, where veeries sing,
And brooks run cool and clear;
In the fields, where wild flowers spring,
And the blue of heaven bends near.
"Go out," I said: "you are half a fool,
But perhaps they can teach you here."

"And why do you stay so long,
My heart, and where do you roam?"
The answer came with a laugh and a song, ---
"I find this school is home."

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Comments (14)

Who was poets teachers in the second school
What had the poet hopped to gain from the first school
Oh! Nature is the best teacher!
That this poem struck a chord in the human heart is evident from the various comments. I liked that the poet didn't preach or lecture, he allowed his heart to speak and our hearts smiled and agreed.
Life is the best open school available.. ofcourse free but takes fees in the form of painful experiences.. yet we force ourselves and our children to stay put in the confines of brick and mortar schools and learn by rote.. while the brook and the birds sing and gurgle outside! ! Set the children free, both small ones and the ones inside us..