Back to School Poetry: Poems and Rhymes for Kids

school bus illustration

The Children

by Charles M. Dickinson 

When the lessons and tasks are all ended,
And the school for the day is dismissed,
And the little ones gather around me,
To bid me good night and be kissed;
Oh, the little white arms that encircle
My neck in their tender embrace!
Oh, the smiles that are halos of heaven,
Shedding sunshine of love on my face!

And when they are gone, I sit dreaming

Of my childhood, too lovely to last;
Of love that my heart will remember
When it wakes to the pulse of the past,
Ere the world and its wickedness made me
A partner of sorrow and sin -
When the glory of God was about me,
And the glory of gladness within.

All my heart grows weak as a woman's

And the fountains of feeling will flow,
When I think of the paths steep and stony,
Where the feet of the dear ones must go;
Of the mountains of sin hanging o'er them,
Of the tempest of Fate blowing wild;
Oh, there's nothing on earth half so holy
As the innocent heart of a child!

They are idols of hearts and of households;

They are angels of God in disguise;
His sunlight still sleeps in their tresses,
His glory still gleams in their eyes;
Oh, these truants from home and from heaven -
They have made me more manly and mild;
And I know now how Jesus could liken
The kingdom of God to a child!

I ask not a life for the dear ones

All radiant, as others have done,
But that life may have just enough shadow
To temper the glare of the sun;
I would pray God to guard them from evil,
But my prayer would bound back to myself;
Ah! a seraph may pray for a sinner,
But a sinner must pray for himself.

The twig is so easily bended,

I have banished the rule and the rod;
I have taught them the goodness of knowledge,
They have taught me the goodness of God.
My heart is the dungeon of darkness,
Where I shut them for breaking a rule;
My frown is sufficient correction;
My love is the law of the school.

I shall leave the old house in the autumn,

To traverse its threshold no more;
Ah! how shall I sigh for the dear ones
That meet me each morn at the door!
I shall miss the "good nights" and the kisses,
And the gush of their innocent glee.
The group on its green, and the flowers
That are brought every morning to me.

I shall miss them at morn and at even,

Their song in the school and the street;
I shall miss the low hum of their voices,
And the tread of their delicate feet.
When the lessons of life are all ended,
And death says, "The school is dismissed!"
May the little ones gather around me
To bid me good night and be kissed!
 * * * * * * * * * * *
Johnny's Hist'ry Lesson

by Nixon Waterman 

I think, of all the things at school
A boy has got to do,
That studyin' hist'ry, as a rule,
Is worst of all, don't you?
Of dates there are an awful sight,
An' though I study day an' night,
There's only one I've got just right -
That's fourteen ninety-two.

Columbus crossed the Delaware

In fourteen ninety-two;
We whipped the British, fair an' square,
In fourteen ninety-two.
At Concord an' at Lexington.
We kept the redcoats on the run,
While the band played Johnny Get Your Gun,
In fourteen ninety-two.

Pat Henry, with his dyin' breath -

In fourteen ninety-two -
Said, "Gimme liberty or death!"
In fourteen ninety-two.
An' Barbara Frietchie, so 'tis said,
Cried, "Shoot if you must this old, gray head,
But I'd rather 'twould be your own instead!"
In fourteen ninety-two.

The Pilgrims came to Plymouth Rock

In fourteen ninety-two,
An' the Indians standin' on the dock
Asked, "What are you goin' to do?"
An' they said, "We seek your harbor drear
That our children's children's children dear
May boast that their forefathers landed here
In fourteen ninety-two."

Miss Pocahontas saved the life -

In fourteen ninety-two -
Of John Smith, an' became his wife
In fourteen ninety-two.
An' the Smith tribe started then an' there,
An' now there are John Smiths ev'rywhere,
But they didn't have any Smiths to spare
In fourteen ninety-two.

Kentucky was settled by Daniel Boone

In fourteen ninety-two,
An' I think the cow jumped over the moon
In fourteen ninety-two.
Ben Franklin flew his kite so high
He drew the lightnin' from the sky,
An' Washington couldn't tell a lie,
In fourteen ninety-two.
 * * * * * * * * * *

The Bells Are Ringing

by Roger J. Robicheau 

The bells are ringing, to start school
Could you be thinking, it’s not cool
You want freedom, to live your way
To make each call, from day to day
The Summer passed, without those books
Why make a change, you liked the looks
Please stop and think, reach in your mind
The choice you make, could be a grind
You might end up, a lowly chump
Because you thought, you had the jump
Can you get by, on what you know?
Come on, be fair, probably no!
Look at yourself, and make the call
You better stay, your life could stall
Just work it out, make that twelfth grade
Embrace that Spring, greet your parade.
(C)2002Roger J. Robicheau

The school bus illustration comes from Dulemba's Coloring Pages

 Have a wonderful school year!
-- LadyD

“You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me.” — C. S. Lewis

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