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Early Student Poetry at West Chester - National Poetry Month

by Jesse Brody on 2017-04-27T13:00:00-04:00 in Archives, Digital Archives, Writing, English, History, Languages & Cultures

Early in West Chester's history, writing poetry was regularly featured in the yearbook, which often included silly verses such as this one from the first yearbook, the 1910 Pathfinder on page 175, attributed to K.S.:

             The Mascots of '10

There were once some rodents pedantic, 
Who rendered the students quite frantic, 
When they came to the classes, 
The terrified lasses
Were sure that each mouse was gigantic. 

Cried the teacher in accents distracted, 
"Pray cease your gyrations protracted, 
Keep your eyes fixed on me, 
And then you won't see
The pranks by these torments enacted."

"They are seeking the crumbs of true learning, 
That you are continually spurning. 
If you'd work as do these, 
You be just 'the cheese'
And ever keep wisdom's lamp burning." 

The literary publications tended to cover more serious topics. The Moore Literary Society was organized shortly after the Normal School opened in 1871, and its rival the Aryan Society began in 1879. Virtually every student at West Chester was a member of one or the other literary societies. The Moore Literary Society published the Moore Literary Gazette, in which the following poem appears in volume sixteen, issue one, published on February 4, 1888 on page 1. It includes fairly typical themes: nature, death, and religion. 

              The Day Has Fled

Into the West fades the golden sun, 
   Tinting the clouds with a softer red. 
                                      Quiet and sleep,--
   Night has come, and day has fled. 

Passing from earth like the golden sun, 
   Treading the path that angels tread, 
                                    Flowers and tears,--
Death has come and life has fled. 

Into a land where the sun ne'er sets, 
   Entered alone through the gates of the dead. 
                                   Eternal rest,--
   Life has come, and Death has fled. 

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