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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908). A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895. 1895.

May Kendall b. 1861

A Board School Pastoral

ALONE I stay; for I am lame,

I cannot join them at the game,

The lads and lasses;

But many a summer holiday

I sit apart and watch them play,

And well I know: my heart can say,

When Ella passes.

Of all the maidens in the place,

’T is Ella has the sunniest face,

Her eyes are clearest.

Of all the girls, or here or there,

’T is Ella’s voice is soft and rare,

And Ella has the darkest hair,

And Ella’s dearest.

Oh, strong the lads for bat or ball,

But I in wit am first of all

The master praises.

The master’s mien is grave and wise;

But, while I look into his eyes,

My heart, that o’er the schoolroom flies,

At Ella gazes.

And Hal ’s below me every day;

For Hal is wild, and he is gay,

He loves not learning.

But when the swiftest runners meet,

Oh, who but Hal is proud and fleet,

And there ’s a smile I know will greet

His glad returning.

They call me moody, dull, and blind,

They say with books I maze my mind,

The lads and lasses;

But little do they know—ah me!

How with my book upon my knee

I dream and dream, but ever see

Where Ella passes.