The school boy in the poem is not a happy child. What makes him unhappy? Why does he compare himself to a bird that lives
in a cage, or a plant that withers when it should blossom.
I love to rise in a summer morn,
When the birds sing on every tree;
The distant huntsman winds his horn,
And the skylark sings with me.
O! what sweet company.
But to go to school in a summer morn,
O! it drives all joy away;
Under a cruel eye outworn,
The little ones spend the day,
In sighing and dismay.
Ah! then at times I drooping sit,
And spend many an anxious hour.
Nor in my book can I take delight,
Nor sit in learning’s bower,
Worn thro’ with the dreary shower.
How can the bird that is born for joy,
Sit in a cage and sing.
How can a child when fears annoy,
But droop his tender wing,
And forget his youthful spring.
O! Father and Mother, if buds are nip’d,
And blossoms blown away,
And if the tender plants are strip’d
Of their joy in the springing day,
By sorrow and cares dismay,
How shall the summer arise in joy,
Or the summer fruits appear?