Keswick Ridge 1880

AN OLD TEACHER

One day in winter a young lad
in stout long legged boots had made
His faithful teacher really mad
Perhaps the teacher’s nerves were frayed

Perhaps the teacher had a drop
Of something stronger far than tea,
And had not known just when to stop,
A danger, you must all agree.

Howe’er it was, the teacher did
What no man should ever do
From annoyance to get rid
He punished in a way quite new.

A cup of water down the neck
Of that young lad he chose to pour
The long legged boots its course did check
Till they were full and running o’er.

It was a bitterly cold day
The boy must walk more than a mile
The teacher sent him on his way
perhaps he did so with a smile.

The lad went home. His boots with ice
Now frozen must be cut away.
They held his feet as in a vice,
The teacher’s wrath all could survey.

He was a teacher doubtless good
An honest man who knew his work.
His place he also understood,
And to maintain it did not shirk.

The school was his. He drew his pay
From those who did attend his school
And he sought none to drive away.
That would have labeled him a fool.

That teaching is not easy work
All must admit. I t patience asks,
For there are pupils, who will. shirk
And mumble in their appointed task.
Boys mischievous will often be.
No matter what they maybe at.
This may be pure lunacy
Teachers will put a stop to that.

The stick, a cat-o-nine tails too
Were weapons he was free to use,
He wielded them as he thought due.
Authority he would not lose.

Sometimes a teacher was a brute
Who shocked all with his cruelty.
He did what ever did him suit.
Treating the children shamefully.

A piece of raw pork on a string
A child was forced to swallow down.
He would pull the pork up again
As might an ugly fiendish clown.

It might have been this self same man
who threatened he would hang a lad
And carefully prepared his plan,
As might a man gone mad.

To him it was a pleasure keen
To see the brothers of this lad
Plead for his life. The ugly scene
Left all the scholars shaken, sad.

Had all the teachers been like that
Few children would have gone to school.
School teaching would have fallen flat.
Till ignorance alone did rule.

The best of teachers oft will find
It difficult to order keep;
And children often will not mind,
but hold the teacher’s temper cheap.

A teacher under nervous strain
May grow, impatient and severe
When it is difficult to gain
Obiedance by ought save fear.


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