Ode on a Distant Prospect of Clapham Academy

Thomas Hood

Ah me! those old familiar bounds!
That classic house, those classic grounds
My pensive thought recalls!
"What tender urchins now confine,
"What little captives now repine,
"Within yon irksome walls!

Ay, that's the very house! I know
Its ugly windows, ten a-row!
Its chimneys in the rear!
And there's the iron rod so high.
That drew the thunder from the sky
And turned our table-beer!

There I was birched! there I was bred!
There like a little Adam fed
From Learning's woful tree!—
The weary tasks I used to con!
The hopeless leaves I wept upon!
Most fruitless leaves to me!


This is a satire on the famous poem, On a distant prospect of Eton College, by Thomas Gray.