FAREWELL TO A MODEST
SCHOLAR

by William Herbert Carruth

 

FAREWELL TO A MODEST
SCHOLAR

(ARTHUR GRAVES CANFIELD)

WITHOUT ado, as he has done 
          His work among us, he'll be 
gone. 
The rulers will not realize 
That they have lost a priceless prize. 
Serenely they will meet the case 
And talk of filling Canfield's place; 
Who know him, know such hope is vain; 
    Wise, patient, clear, judicious, fair, 
    The artist temper, fine and rare__
We shall not see his like again. 
 
He had not learned to sound the trump
Of his own merits, nor could pump 
Praise from his students, quid pro quo; 
He did not keep a press bureau. 
He never slapped the powers that be 
In jovial jest upon the knee. 
He minded his own business, which 
He understood to be__to teach;
Impartially to gem and clod 
He taught as in the fear of God. 
 
He taught as in the fear of God;
The toilsome, patient way he trod, 
Knowing that what is built to stay 
Is never builded in a day; 
That conscience in the teacher's ways 
More teaches than her loudest praise 
From such as follow wandering lights 
Of gain, world's plaudits, rank, and 
spites; 
That scholarship and character 
Worth more than show and trappings 
are. 
 
He had no cabinets to show
Of Nature's wonders set a-row, 
The output of his annual pains, 
He merely worked in human brains; 
Dealt in the deathless thoughts of men__
His tool the inconspicuous pen. 
His has the thankless office been 
To represent the things unseen. 
Without ado, as he has done 
His work among us, he '11 be gone. 
                                                                                         
 

from
Each in His Own Tongue
and Other Poems

William Herbert Carruth
(New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. 1909)

 
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