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Beware virgin bard-lovers

I was not aware, until leafing through an old poetry book, that Robert Herrick had supported the proper and joyous study of Shakespeare in key stage 3, in a little known first draft of "To the Virgins, to make much of the Timetable".

Gather ye Play-scripts while ye may,

Old Time is still a flying:

And this same Act which smiles today,

In a library will be lying.

The tedious National Curric-ul-um,

The higher it's a getting;

The sooner will its Race be run,

And neerer it's to SATting.

That Stage is best, which is the Third,

When Youth and Blood are flowers,

But being spent, GCSE, AS,

A2 will steal your hours.

Then be not coy, but use your time;

And while ye may, reed Shakespeare:

For having lost but once Year Nine,

Coursework will over-take, dear.

Steve Harvey

Headmaster

Aylesbury grammar school

Walton Road, Aylesbury

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