Address to the Senior Class

ON LATE evaluation, I would say my education
Has helped me Gain the Goals your yearbook mentions.
I’ve Met Life, steering wide of it, Matured and haven’t died of it,
And loved my memories and nice declensions.
The years have shaped my attitude, till now I view with gratitude
My algebra and Spanish and the rest.
And I can say to all a ya, it’s grand to know that Gallia
In tres old changeless parts divisa est.
When I have bad insomnia, I think how Gaul is omnia,
And — lying glassy-eyed in my pajamas —
Like always, if I muse a lot about amo amas a mat,
I fall asleep before I reach amamus.
Most words of Latin origin have fled the mind I forage in.
And, while I mourn their passing or upheaval,
I’m sure if I dismembered them — and also I remembered them —
I’d have the root of everything but evil.
Since no one knows when French’11 be decidedly essential,
I’m sorry that my course in it was short.
Yet if, by any circumstance, I’m locked outside a door in France,
At least I still can say “Ouvrez la porte!”
The same thing goes for Spanish, which I thought would quickly vanish.
I well recall the time it swelled my ego,
When I was buying Texaco one morning lost in Mexico
And proudly asked the man, “Which way, amigo?”
Don’t ever think it’s silly learning quotes about Aprille;
Though I have seldom used them, to be sure,
At lunch I thought of Chaucer when I dropped my cup and saucer
And bathèd half the guests in swich licour.
I also still distinguish stuff from parsing all my English stuff
And learning proper speech along with etiquette.
Each time I use a hammer now, I watch my spoken grammar now,
Deleting verbs like “Dammit” from the predicate.
Sometimes I feel it’s sad you wait til years from when you graduate
To understand the purposes of knowledge:
Like why you need geometry to pass your trigonometry
So you can take a music course in college.
But then, what fun to choose a course, for instance like a music course,
And put aside your dreary old Home Ee book,
So you can sing from Figaro while you are spreading Vigoro,
A learnèd wife who overdraws the checkbook.