St. Saturday by Henry Johnstone
Oh, Friday night's the queen of nights, because it ushers in
The Feast of good St. Saturday, when studying is a sin,
When studying is a sin, boys, and we may go to play
Not only in the afternoon, but all the livelong day.
St. Saturday—so legends say—lived in the ages when
The use of leisure still was known and current among men;
Full seldom and full slow he toiled, and even as he wrought
He'd sit him down and rest awhile, immersed in pious thought.
He loved to fold his good old arms, to cross his good old knees,
And in a famous elbow-chair for hours he'd take his ease;
He had a word for old and young, and when the village boys
Came out to play, he'd smile on them and never mind the noise.
So when his time came, honest man, the neighbors all declared
That one of keener intellect could better have been spared;
By young and old his loss was mourned in cottage and in hall,
For if he'd done them little good, he'd done no harm at all.
In time they made a saint of him, and issued a decree—
Since he had loved his ease so well, and been so glad to see
The children frolic round him and to smile upon their play—
That school boys for his sake should have a weekly holiday.
They gave his name unto the day, that as the years roll by
His memory might still be green; and that's the reason why
We speak his name with gratitude, and oftener by far
Than that of any other saint in all the calendar.
Then, lads and lassies, great and small, give ear to what I say—
Refrain from work on Saturdays as strictly as you may;
So shall the saint your patron be and prosper all you do—
And when examinations come he'll see you safely through.