A Poor Scholar Of The 'Forties
MY eyelids red and heavy arc
With bending o'er the smold'ring peat.
I know the Aeneid now by heart,
My Virgil read in cold and heat,
In loneliness and hunger smart.
And I know Homer, too, I ween,
As Munster poets know Ossian.
And I must walk this road that winds
Twixt bog and bog, while east there lies
A city with its men and books;
With treasures open to the wise,
Heart-words from equals, comrade-looks;
Down here they have but tale and song,
They talk Repeal the whole night long.
'You teach Greek verbs and Latin nouns,'
The dreamer of Young Ireland said,
'You do not hear the muffled call,
The sword being forged, the far-off tread
Of hosts to meet as Gael and Gall
What good to us your wisdom-store,
Your Latin verse, your Grecian lore?'
And what to me is Gael or Gall?
Less than the Latin or the Greek
I teach these by the dim rush-light
In smoky cabins night and week.
But what avail my teaching slight?
Years hence, in rustic speech, a phrase,
As in wild earth a Grecian vase!
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (A Poor Scholar Of The 'Forties by Padraic Colum )
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(1644 - 1694)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
Sir Walter Scott
(27 October 1914 – 9 November 1953)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- A Child's Christmas in Wales, Dylan Thomas
- Invictus, William Ernest Henley
- The Saddest Poem, Pablo Neruda
- If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
- Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
- Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
- Daffodils, William Wordsworth
Poem of the Day
- Forgotten, Michael P. McParland
- Forgive Me?, Michael P. McParland
- The Hermit, David Lessard
- Forever Yours, Michael P. McParland
- Colors of Our Love, Saliah Jabbar
- Forever Hope, Michael P. McParland
- Many Mornings Before Sunrise, M.J. Lemon
- For You, Michael P. McParland
- For Now (Know I Miss You), Michael P. McParland
- Footsteps, Michael P. McParland