Martha M Simpson

Here you will find the Poem To an Old Grammar of poet Martha M Simpson

To an Old Grammar

Oh, mighty conjuror, you raise 
 The ghost of my lost youth -- 
The happy, golden-tinted days 
When earth her treasure-trove displays, 
 And everything is truth. 

Your compeers may be sage and dry, 
 But in your page appears 
A very fairyland, where I 
Played 'neath a changeful Irish sky -- 
 A sky of smiles and tears. 

Dear native land! this little book 
 Brings back the varied charm 
Of emerald hill and flashing brook, 
Deep mountain glen and woodland nook, 
 And homely sheltered farm. 

I see the hayrick where I sat 
 In golden autumn days, 
And conned thy page, and wondered what 
Could be the use, excepting that 
 It gained the master's praise. 

I conjugate thy verbs again 
 Beside the winter's fire, 
And, as the solemn clock strikes ten, 
I lay thee on the shelf, and then 
 To dreams of thee retire. 

Thy Saxon roots reveal to me 
 A silent, empty school, 
And one poor prisoner who could see, 
As if to increase her misery, 
 Her mates released from rule, 

Rushing to catch the rounder ball, 
 Or circling in the ring. 
Those merry groups! I see them all, 
And even now I can recall 
 The songs they used to sing. 

Thy syntax conjures forth a morn 
 Of spring, when blossoms rare 
Conspired the solemn earth to adorn, 
And spread themselves on bank and thorn, 
 And perfumed all the air. 

The dewdrops lent their aid and threw 
 Their gems with lavish hand 
On every flower of brilliant hue, 
On every blade of grass that grew 
 In that enchanted land. 

The lark her warbling music lent, 
 To give an added charm, 
And sleek-haired kine, in deep content, 
Forth from their milking slowly went 
 Towards the homestead farm. 

And here thy page on logic shows 
 A troop of merry girls, 
A meadow smooth where clover grows, 
And lanes where scented hawthorn blows, 
 And woodbine twines and curls. 

And, turning o'er thy leaves, I find 
 Of many a friend the trace; 
Forgotten scenes rush to my mind, 
And some whom memory left behind 
 Now stare me in the face. 

Ah, happy days! when hope was high, 
 And faith was calm and deep! 
When all was real and God was nigh, 
And heaven was "just beyond the sky", 
 And angels watched my sleep. 

Your dreams are gone, and here instead 
 Fair science reigns alone, 
And, when I come to her for bread, 
She smiles and bows her stately head 
 And offers me -- a stone.