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The Schoolboy by William Blake


"The Schoolboy" is a poem written by William Blake. This poem speaks of how a schoolboy absolutely loves summer but he loaths the idea of going to class during it. Once at school, the boy simply wishes he was at home and waits "many an anxious hour" for it to end. He's basically saying that how can people be happy when they are always stuck somewhere they don't want to be. We should be doing something full of happiness and joy so that we can grow and blossom.

This poem is written in six stanzas with five lines in each one. The rhyme scheme is ABABB. The syllables of each line changes throughout the poem. Some have six, some have eight, some have nine, and some even have ten. However, it is written in trochaic foot. Nonetheless, some of the lines are missing a syllable on the end.


The Schoolboy

I love to rise in a summer morn,
When the birds sing on every tree;
The distant huntsman winds his horn,
And the skylark sings with me:
O what sweet company!

But to go to school in a summer morn, –
O it drives all joy away!
Under a cruel eye outworn,
The little ones spend the day
In sighing and dismay.

Ah then at times I drooping sit,
And spend many an anxious hour;
Nor in my book can I take delight,
Nor sit in learning's bower,
Worn through with the dreary shower.

How can the bird that is born for joy
Sit in a cage and sing?
How can a child, when fears annoy,
But droop his tender wing,
And forget his youthful spring!

O father and mother if buds are nipped,
And blossoms blown away;
And if the tender plants are stripped
Of their joy in the springing day,
By sorrow and care's dismay, –

How shall the summer arise in joy,
Or the summer fruits appear?
Or how shall we gather what griefs destroy,
Or bless the mellowing year,
When the blasts of winter appear.

(from Songs of Experience, 1794)

Next: The Sick Rose
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Literary Movement
Romanticism, 18th Century

School, Summer, Happiness, Childhood

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