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James Kenneth Stephen (1859-1892)

My Education


              1At school I sometimes read a book,
              2    And learned a lot of lessons;
              3Some small amount of pains I took,
              4    And showed much acquiescence
              5In what my masters said, good men!
              6    Yet after all I quite
              7Forgot the most of it: but then
              8                      I learned to write.

              9At Lincoln's Inn I'd read a brief,
            10    Abstract a title, study
            11Great paper-piles, beyond belief
            12    Inelegant and muddy:
            13The whole of these as time went by
            14    I soon forgot: indeed
            15I tried to: yes: but by and by
            16                      I learned to read.

            17By help of Latin, Greek and Law
            18    I now can write and read too:
            19Then perish each forgotten saw,
            20    Each fact I do not need too:
            21But still whichever way I turn
            22    At one sad task I stick:
            23I fear that I shall never learn
            24                            Arithmetic

Notes

9] Lincoln's Inn: famous London West-end legal inn.


Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: J. K. Stephen, Quo Musa Tendis? (Cambridge: Macmillan and Bowes, 1891), p. 43. PR 5473 S4Q8 1891 Robarts Library.
First publication date: 1891
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: RPO 1998.
Recent editing: 2:2002/2/14

Rhyme: ababcdcd


Other poems by James Kenneth Stephen