At the seat of instruction, where once she was blest,
Fair science sat mourning with sadness oppres'd.
Her maps and her volumes lay scatter'd around;
Her globes, all in fragments, were strew'd on the ground,
There lay, in rude tatters, the relics of sense;
The waste and destruction of genius immense.
She sigh'd, shook her head, and with anguish began,
Alas! for the boy when he thinks he's a man:
When his nature grows tall, and his fingers begin
To stroke the soft down that comes over his chin
When he talks of assemblies, assumes a fine air,
Falls in love, as he calls it, and dreams of the fair,
This school and these students, I claim as my own,
Here my precepts were utter'd, my maxims made known;
I open'd my treasures, around me they came,
And I rais'd their ambition for glory and fame.
I display'd the fair honors for wisdom design'd,
And the list'ning content she bestows on the mind.
They heard me with rapture; i saw in their eyes
Fair hope, emulation and genius arise;
I hail'd the glad omen! my children! I cried,
Let no pleasing objects your bosom divide,
Till crown'd with fair virtue, for glory design'd,
I'll bestow you, a blessing and joy to mankind.
Ah! fond expectation! I saw with despair,
How soon they forsook me to wait on the fair,
While I talk'd of the planets that roll through the skies,
Their minds were on dimples and beautiful eyes;
I laid down positions and strove to explain;
They thought of Eliza, Louisa, and Jane.
I saw a fine youth as apart he retir'd,
He seem'd with the ardor of science inspir'd,
His books and his pen were dispos'd in due place,
And deep lines of thinking were mark'd on his face.
Sweet hope in my breast was beginning to swell,
And I lov'd the dear boy that could study so well;
Nor shall my assistance be wasted, I cried,
I'll crown my exertions and spring to his side.
Alas! an acrostic! the verses were planned,
The name was all written, the letters were scann'd,
The initials arrang'd to promote the design,
and his genius was working to get the first line.
I shut up my Euclid, I blush'd for myself.
I laid Blair and Murray again on the shelf,
Disappointed, ashamed and o'ercome with regret
I utter'd a wish I shall never forget,
That all the dear maidens my counsels would prize,
And shun every lad till he's learned and wise.