Here you will find the Poem At School-Close of poet John Greenleaf Whittier
BOWDOIN STREET, BOSTON, 1877. The end has come, as come it must To all things; in these sweet June days The teacher and the scholar trust Their parting feet to separate ways. They part: but in the years to be Shall pleasant memories cling to each, As shells bear inland from the sea The murmur of the rhythmic beach. One knew the joy the sculptor knows When, plastic to his lightest touch, His clay-wrought model slowly grows To that fine grace desired so much. So daily grew before her eyes The living shapes whereon she wrought, Strong, tender, innocently wise, The child's heart with the woman's thought. And one shall never quite forget The voice that called from dream and play, The firm but kindly hand that set Her feet in learning's pleasant way,-- The joy of Undine soul-possessed, The wakening sense, the strange delight That swelled the fabled statue's breast And filled its clouded eyes with sight. O Youth and Beauty, loved of all! Ye pass from girlhood's gate of dreams; In broader ways your footsteps fall, Ye test the truth of all that seams. Her little realm the teacher leaves, She breaks her wand of power apart, While, for your love and trust, she gives The warm thanks of a grateful heart. Hers is the sober summer noon Contrasted with your morn of spring, The waning with the waxing moon, The folded with the outspread wing. Across the distance of the years She sends her God-speed back to you; She has no thought of doubts or fears Be but yourselves, be pure, be true, And prompt in duty; heed the deep, Low voice of conscience; through the ill And discord round about you, keep Your faith in human nature still. Be gentle: unto griefs and needs, Be pitiful as woman should, And, spite of all the lies of creeds, Hold fast the truth that God is good. Give and receive; go forth and bless The world that needs the hand and heart Of Martha's helpful carefulness No less than Mary's better part. So shall the stream of time flow by And leave each year a richer good, And matron loveliness outvie The nameless charm of maidenhood. And, when the world shall link your names With gracious lives and manners fine, The teacher shall assert her claims, And proudly whisper, 'These were mine!'