The Poem consists of a prologue and an epilogue; two identical opening and closing rhyming couplets; six cantos of three stanzas each; and seven illustrative pictorial images. The Poem deals with six principal concepts confronting humanities scholars - these being political science, truth, commerce, knowledge, peace and freedom. It offers definitive insights into all of these concepts which directly impinge on human affairs and human society - the subjects which all liberal arts scholars analyze and describe in their writings.
"The Scholar" is a lyric poem wherein Dr Vaughan expresses an emotion and illuminates some fundamental principles of life. Like Percy Shelley's "Ode to the West Wind", this poem adopts cantos as its basic structure - these being the Italian poetic equivalent of chapters. Each of the six cantos consists of three stanzas of four lines (known as 'quatrains') written with a varying pattern of repeated sounds (or 'rhymes.') Like William Butler Yeats' work, "The Second Coming", Dr Vaughan uses distinct references to symbolize complex ideas about the state of the modern world.