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For the Parochial School at Sorn
made to the board of Heritors

The object in calling this meeting today
Is to pick out a teacher of note,
Then let us proceed to examine their claims
And settle the matter by vote:
The first is proficient in classical lore,
Unrivaled in Latin and Greek,
A hot-bed in which ev'ry language takes root
That man has attempted to speak,
Pneumatics and Ethics and chemistry too
Are studies in which he excels
What say you to him? He is settled and wed,
No danger of him with the Belles.

The man who has finished his college career
And dabbled in science "en masse,"
Can ne'er be expected to puzzle his brains
In founding or training a class,
Away with your linguists, will none of them here,
Convinced of their merits no doubt
Yet those who have gobbled much learning themselves
Are niggard in dealing it out.

Then here is a chick from that normal none-such,
Full-fledg'd with the feathers of fame,
A journeyman, teacher and pupil of Sorn
A modern self-acting "se-same."

The system may work in a city or town,
Where the scholars are num'rous and small
But schools such as this where all ages attend,
He couldn't get forward at all --
He may lecture and train, till his huffits grow grey
But he will find a promiscuous school,
Will never succeed with the system of Stowe
Or by any established rule.
He must study the method in prominent schools,
And chalk out a path of his own.
Engrafting improvements on what he has learn'd
Then fight out the battle alone.

The last is a poet -- a humoursome blade,
A mixture of learning and fun,
An enthusiast quite while engaged in the school
And a wag when his duty is done --
Who brings to the scene of the contest with him
A character highly approv'd --
And first-rate credentials from ev'ry known place
Where he as a teacher has mov'd.
And ten years experience added to this
Has lifted his "status" so high,
That none need compete, who would scorn to get beat,
As they'll certainly be, when they try.
But his autograph carries the stamp of that time,
When the pupils of S took the lead,
When also, the "line qua non" for a scribe,
Was crampness and spelling and speed.

No matter, if only the length of the word
Conveys what he means to express --
We'll give him a trial, he'll mend it thro' time
And what we can't read, we can guess.

Published: 26-Apr-2004