Two Schools

I PUT my heart to school
In the world, where men grow wise.
“ Go out,” I said, “ and learn the rule;
Come back when you win a prize.”
My heart came back again.
“ Now where is the prize ? ” I cried.
“ The rule was false, and the prize was pain,
And the teacher’s name was Pride.”
I put my heart to school
In the woods, where veeries sing,
And brooks run cool and clear;
In the fields, where wild flowers spring,
And the blue of heaven bends near.
“ Go out,” I said: “you are half a fool,
But perhaps they can teach you here.”
“ And why do you stay so long,
My heart, and where do you roam?”
The answer came with a laugh and a song, —
“ I find this school is home.”
Henry van Dyke.