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Yes, every nook these youthful feet explore,
Their fathers' feet, the children's children tread. 255 Roll the round century's five score years away,
Call from our storied past that earliest day
Then young Eliphalet — ruled the rows of boys 260 In homespun gray or old world corduroys, –
And save for fashion's whims, the benches show
green And swung the gates, what wonders I have seen! 265 But come what will, the sky itself
The face we love a sunbeam makes our own; 270 No more the surgeon hears the sufferer's groan;
What unwrit histories wrapped in darkness lay
The pen is (sometimes) mightier than the sword; 275 Great is the goosequill, say we all; Amen!
Sometimes the spade is mightier than the pen ;
It shows where Babel's terraced walls were raised, 257. Eliphalet Pearson, the first principal of the school, and in later life, professor in the Theological Seminary. 274.
“ Beneath the rule of men entirely great
The pen is mightier than the sword." Edward Bulwer Lytton's drama of Richelieu, Act II. Scene 2. 277. Layard between 1845 and 1850 unearthed Nineveh. The results of his excavations are published in the very interesting work, Ninereh and its Remains.
The slabs that cracked when Nimrod's palace
A new Prometheus tips our wands with fire,
And hold the bours as Joshua stayed the sun, 285 So swift, in truth, we hardly find a place
For those dim fictions known as time and space.
Who questions Sirius in his tortured rays 290 And steals the secret of the solar blaze.
Hush! while the window-rattling bugles play
Turn it again and make it say its prayers ! 295 And was it true, then, what the story said
Of Oxford's friar and his brazen head ?
279. Mycenæ, the ancient royal city of Argos, and Troy, the scene of the Iliad, have been uncovered by “shovelling Schliemann.''
281. Prometheus in Greek mythology made men of clay and animated them by means of fire which he stole from heaven. The reference is to the electric light.
282. Orpheus's skill in music was so wonderful that he could make even trees and rocks follow him. The telephone and phonograph were just coming into common use when the poem was read.
290. In the spectroscope.
296. Friar Roger Bacon, who lived in the latter half of the thirteenth century was a scientific investigator, whom popular ignorance made to be a magician. He was said to have constructed a brazen head, from which great things were to be ex. pected when it should speak, but the exact moment could not be known. While Bacon and another friar were asleep and as
While wondering science stands, herself perplexed
The immortal boy, the coming heir of all, 300 Springs from his desk to “
urge the flying ball,” Cleaves with his bending oar the glassy waves, With sinewy arm the dashing current braves, The same bright creature in these haunts of ours
That Eton shadowed with her “ antique towers.” 305 Boy! Where is he? the long-limbed youth in
When the dim eye has lost its lambent flame, 310 Sweet to his ear will be his school-boy name!
Nor think the difference mighty as it seems
In earth’s wide school-house all are girls and boys. attendant was keeping watch, the brazen head spoke the words, Time is. The attendant thought that too commonplace a statement to make it worth while to wake his master. said the head, and then T'ime is past, and with that fell to the ground with a crash and never could be set up again.
300. See Thomas Gray's On a Distant Prospect of Eton Coba
“Who foremost now delight to cleave,
The captive linnet which enthral ?
Or urge the flying ball ?"
“ Ye distant spires, ye antique towers,
That crown the watery glade,
Her Henry's holy shade."