For Occasions

THE ORIONS
WAUAPACA HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION
Waupaca Republican – June 16, 1862

When sweet September softly drew
Her purple veil o’er plain and hill,
And down the quivering ether threw
A mist radiance, calm and still;

When school bells over all the land
Pealed out their message silver clear,
Our merry-hearted little band
Began upon its Senior year.

A year, we knew, of care and toil;
A year, perhaps, of sorrows black;
But did we flinch – our records soil
With one faint longing to turn back?

We were Orions, seekers we –
Seekers for all that’s good and pure, –
Should we at phantoms daunted be!
Could we not suffer and endure?

We thought of him whose name we bear –
Orion, – ever brave and strong,
And we, though humbly, still could share
The honors that to him belong.

Just as the fierce wild beasts we slew;
Just as he conquered Ohio’s isle;
Our petty cares could we subdue,
And nobly win in every trial.

We saw the gold and crimson leaf
Turn slowly to its dullest brown,
As fade the colors, bright but brief,
That make the great sun’s going down;

We saw snowflakes lightly fall,
We saw them fade and melt away.
We heard the wild birds’ cheery call
Float o’er the fragrant groves of May.

But through it all we all marched on.
We’ve reached the height we’d  wend.
Not one amoung us lost ‘er gone,
For all were faithful to the end.
Ah yes, the end! How sad the word!
The end of all those happy times
When even tho’ duty’s voice was heard,
‘Twas mixed with pleasure’s sweeter chimes.

The end of that sweet fellowship
That we sixteen have learned to know,
Which made the days so swiftly slip
We could not feel we soon must go.

But not the end of friendship strong;
And though a parting, not for aye;
We still shall be Orions: long
We’ll cherish that upon our way.

Tho’ now we’ve passed our High School days,
Tho’ now we from each other part,
The tender warmth of mem’ry’s-blaze
Shall quicken every yearning heart.

Our futures now before us lie –
A vista fair with clouds obscured –
We know not what; we ask not why;
We only know that right’s assured.

For though on life’s rough path we fall.
Humiliation’s vale descend,
We’ll know when Death’s rude voice shall call,
We have been faithful to the end.

And though the future ages dim
A constellation bright shall gleam;
The universe from rim to rim
Shall feel its brilliant, steady beam.

Orion old shall shrink and pale
Before those sixteen lovely stars,
With music sweet his spheres shall hail
His rivals in this class of ours.

For all whose names that shine as bright
And soothe Ambition’s loud demands
Shall be inscribed on pages white
In that fair home “not made with hands.”

GRADUATION POEM
STEVENS POINT NORMAL COLLEGE 1897
Stevens Point Gazette – June 23, 1897

Fill the cup and fill the can,
Think of books and toil no more!
Here’s health to every man –
’97 has the floor!

Throw all sadness to the wind,
Cast your doubt and fear away,
Ev’re sorrow leave behind,
’97 laughs to-day!

Fill the can and fill the cup!
Fill your soul with class-day cheer,
Let the laugh come brimming up;
Bring no downcast faces here!

All our work is past and gone;
We’re no more in mournful flocks
Seen at rosy flush of dawn,
Hurrying to 8 o’clocks.

No more essays, dry and dull;
No more long exams for us –
Nineteen questions marked “In full” –
Questions that begins “Discuss.”

No more shall we, heavy-eyed,
At the bar of judgment wait,
Rearing as we’re pushed aside –
“You? O, you stood 68!”

We’ll forget this pain and woe,
Take our pleasures while they last,
Let the moments gaily go,
Fear no future, mourn no past.

What tho’ we must shortly part?
Pluck your roses while you may –
There’ll be time to break your heart,
’97 laughs to-day.

Fill the cup and fill the can,
Think of books and toil no more!
Here’s a health to every man –
’97 has the floor!

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