A reader sent this:

I just found this poem in a tattered copy book kept by my grandmother, who was born in Sweden in 1887 and came to the US as an infant. It appears after a few pages of Swedish lessons an outline of US history and geography, grammar rules, and music notation, among other patriotic poems.
Given that public schools are currently under siege, reading this appreciation from over 100 years ago reminded me of all that they have meant to so many generations of American citizens.

OUR PUBLIC SCHOOL

1.

When Freedom flung her banner high
In triumph o’re the land
‘Twas like a rainbow in the sky
A pledge by heroes planned:
Fair Wisdom’s form came then in view
That all might learn in lessons true
The creed of Liberty
Hail, hail, hail our fortress strong
Hail, hail, hail the foe of wrong.
Bright, bright, bright beam thy beacon light
God bless the public school.

2.

The tyrant’s power melt away
When Truth and Right appear
No more Ignorance obey
The dictates of her fear
For knowledge elevates mankind
Makes clear the golden rule
And gives the blessings that we find
Within the public school.