Posted by: W. E. Poplaski | April 18, 2009

POEM OF THE DAY: Afternoon in School—The Last Lesson

 by D. H. Lawrence (1885 – 1930).


Afternoon in School—The Last Lesson


When will the bell ring, and end this weariness?

How long have they tugged the leash, and strained apart

My pack of unruly hounds: I cannot start

Them again on a quarry of knowledge they hate to hunt,

I can haul them and urge them no more.                                          5

No more can I endure to bear the brunt

Of the books that lie out on the desks: a full three score

Of several insults of blotted pages and scrawl

Of slovenly work that they have offered me.

I am sick, and tired more than any thrall                                           10

Upon the woodstacks working weariedly.


And shall I take

The last dear fuel and heap it on my soul

Till I rouse my will like a fire to consume

Their dross of indifference, and burn the scroll

Of their insults in punishment? – I will not!                                         15

I will not waste myself to embers for them,

Not all for them shall the fires of my life be hot,

For myself a heap of ashes of weariness, till sleep

Shall have raked the embers clear: I will keep

Some of my strength for myself, for if I should sell                         20

It all for them, I should hate them –

– I will sit and wait for the bell.



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