The Old Stone School House.District 41.
Bourbon County Kansas.
I've seen once more the school house grounds
Where oft I spent sweet days,
Of mirth and joy and pleasure rare,
In childhood's pleasant ways,
I've stood upon the ground where then
The children used to play,
It still seemed that I ought to hear
Those voices passed away.
The playground seems not half so large,
The lane not half so wide,
The dear old walls so small, how could
So many get inside?
And dirt and stones now fill the well
That furnished water sweet,
And climbing vines have woven there
The song-birds' safe retreat.
The dear old house no longer stands,
It burned long years ago,
And all that's left are crumbling walls
That time is sinking low,
Oh, ruins! how like youthful hopes,
When time has flown and left
Declining years, with scattered friends,
And darling ones bereft.
The wild flower blooms there as of old,
But ah! how sad to me,
No barefoot boys or girls were there,
There loveliness to see.
No races for the soapstone bank
For finger rings we wore,
And pencils that we neatly cut
Like those bought from the store.
Those barefoot boys and girls are now
All men and women grown,
And scattered far, yes very far,
From the dear old house of stone,
And as I stood and gazed I seemed
To call them back once more,
And hear their shouts of laughter ring
As in the days of yore.
(Madison, Wis: The American Thresherman. 1901)