Henry Van Dyke

(10 November 1852 – 10 April 1933 / Germantown, Pennsylvania)

Two Schools - Poem by Henry Van Dyke

I put my heart to school
In the world, where men grow wise,
"Go out," I said, "and learn the rule;
Come back when you win a prize."

My heart came back again:
"Now where is the prize?" I cried. ----
"The rule was false, and the prize was pain,
And the teacher's name was Pride."

I put my heart to school
In the woods, where veeries sing,
And brooks run cool and clear;
In the fields, where wild flowers spring,
And the blue of heaven bends near.
"Go out," I said: "you are half a fool,
But perhaps they can teach you here."

"And why do you stay so long,
My heart, and where do you roam?"
The answer came with a laugh and a song, ---
"I find this school is home."

Comments about Two Schools by Henry Van Dyke

  • Bharati Nayak (10/7/2015 8:07:00 PM)

    Oh! Nature is the best teacher! (Report) Reply

    2 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Susan Williams (10/7/2015 1:33:00 PM)

    That this poem struck a chord in the human heart is evident from the various comments. I liked that the poet didn't preach or lecture, he allowed his heart to speak and our hearts smiled and agreed. (Report) Reply

  • Seema Jayaraman (10/7/2015 12:31:00 PM)

    Life is the best open school available.. ofcourse free but takes fees in the form of painful experiences.. yet we force ourselves and our children to stay put in the confines of brick and mortar schools and learn by rote.. while the brook and the birds sing and gurgle outside! ! Set the children free, both small ones and the ones inside us.. (Report) Reply

  • (10/7/2015 10:01:00 AM)

    A lot of inspiration from this poem for a good learning what life is. (Report) Reply

  • Jasbir Chatterjee (10/7/2015 6:47:00 AM)

    This is so similar to what our very own Tagore wrote in his story ''Tota Kahini. All great men think alike. (Report) Reply

  • Jasbir Chatterjee (10/7/2015 6:46:00 AM)

    This is so similar to what our very own Tagore wrote in his story'Tota Kahini. All great men think alike. (Report) Reply

  • (10/7/2015 5:54:00 AM)

    Fantastic imagination. The school of nature may be really great and it teaches a lot. Thanks for sharing. (Report) Reply

  • Edward Kofi Louis (10/7/2015 5:00:00 AM)

    Not all that the schools teaches are true! Nice piece. (Report) Reply

  • Sofia Kioroglou (10/7/2015 3:22:00 AM)

    A brilliant poem and very didactic! (Report) Reply

  • (10/7/2015 2:35:00 AM)

    Natural world has always been and still is the school best of all, our real home.
    Thanks for this PH!
    (Report) Reply

  • Rahman Henry (10/7/2015 12:59:00 AM)

    A meaningful poem and marvel. (Report) Reply

  • (12/20/2014 9:21:00 AM)

    A great poem and meanings are worthy. I find it the school is home. (Report) Reply

Read all 12 comments »

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Read poems about / on: school, teacher, pride, spring, song, heaven, home, pain, heart, world, flower, running

Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003

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