An Old Man’s Thought Of School By Walt Whitman

An old man�s thought of School; 
An old man, gathering youthful memories and blooms, that youth itself cannot. 

Now only do I know you! 
O fair auroral skies! O morning dew upon the grass! 

And these I see, these sparkling eyes,
These stores of mystic meaning, these young lives, 
Building, equipping, like a fleet of ships, immortal ships! 
Soon to sail out over the measureless seas, 
On the Soul�s voyage. 

Only a lot of boys and girls?
Only the tiresome spelling, writing, ciphering classes? 
Only a Public School? 

Ah more, infinitely more; 
(As George Fox rais�d his warning cry, �Is it this pile of brick and mortar, these dead floors, windows, rails, you call the church? 
Why this is not the church at all, the Church is living, ever living Souls.�)

And you, America, 
Cast you the real reckoning for your present? 
The lights and shadows of your future, good or evil? 
To girlhood, boyhood look, the Teacher and the School.