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Full text of "Oxford poetry"

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Oxford 

Poetry 

1915 



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H. H. Blackwell 



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OXFORD POETRY 

1915 



London Agents 
SIMPKIN, MARSHALL AND CO., LTD. 

New York 

LONGMANS, GREEN AND CO., FOURTH AVENUE, 

AND THIRTIETH STREET 



OXFORD POETRY 



in 



1915 



EDITED BY 

G. D. H. C. AND T. W. E. 



OXFORD 

B. H. BLACKWELL, BROAD STREET 

1915 






628724 



CONTENTS 



GERALD CROW (Hertford) 
Do WE Begin ? . 
Supposing we had gone Down 

ERIC DICKINSON (Non-Coll.) 

The Dance of the Blood-red Sun . 

ESTHER LILIAN DUFF (Home Student) 





A Kalendar .... 


. 3 




Black Oxen .... 


. 5 




Lad's Love and Lavender 


6 


T. W. 


EARP (Exeter) 






Ecstasy ..... 


• 7 




The Crowd .... 


. 8 




Love- Poem .... 


- 9 




Notts ..... 


. ID 




Cranes ..... 


. II 




Departure .... 


. 12 



GODFREY ELTON (Balliol) 

Six Poems written in Foreign Countries 



13 



H. R. FRESTON (Exeter) 
A Girl's Song . 
Sometimes I Wonder 



19 

20 



RUSSELL GREEN (Queen's) 
Lament . 



Contents 

NAOMI M. HALDANE (Home Student) page 

Awakening of the Bacch.e . . . . .22 

H. C. HARWOOD (Balliol) 

From the Yodth of All Nations . . . -23 

The Prayer of the Virgin Mary . . . .26 

A. L. HUXLEY (Balliol) 

Home-Sickness . . . from the Town . . -27 

LESLIE PHILLIPS JONES (Oriel) 

Peace ........ 28 

R. S. LAMBERT (Wadham) 

For a Folk-Song . . . . . .29 

War-Time . . . . . . .31 

AGNES E. MURRAY (Somerville) 

Domino Meo , . . . . . .32 

ROBERT NICHOLS (Trinity) 

The Prince of Ormcz sings to Badoura . . -35 

Midday . . . . . . . .36 

The Tower . , . . . . .38 

ELIZABETH RENDALL (Home Stddent) 

Franklin Kane . . . . . .40 

A Ballad of Doom . . . . . .41 

The Return . . . . , . -44 

L. RICE-OXLEY (Keble) 

Night . . . . . .' . -45 

Petrol, Night, and a Road . . . . .46 

DOROTHY H. ROWE (Somerville) 

An Old Rhyme Re-sung . . . -49 

DOROTHY L. SAYERS (Somerville) 

Lay ........ 50 

ERIC EARNSHAW smith (University) 

Sisters . . . . .... 58 

Godstow . . . . . . -59 

vi 



Contents 

G. B. SMITH (CoRPDS Christi) page 

Songs on the Downs . . . . . .60 

HASAN SHAHID SUHRAWARDY (Non-Coll.) 

Narcisse — Mallarm^en . . . .61 

Chinoiserie : Samainesqoe . . . . .62 

E. GRAHAM SUTTON (Queen's) 

El'ITAPH . , . . . . . '63 

J. R. R. TOLKIEN (Exeter) 

Goblin Feet . . . . . , .64 

SHERARD VINES (New College) 

The Lover made Light by Circumstance . . ,66 

Modern Beauty . . . . . .68 

On Tiring of a Certain Subject . . . .69 

H. T. WADE-GERV (Wadham and New College) 

To Master Robert Herrick : Upon his Death . . 70 

The Grass is Cold and Wet, the Dew is Set . . 71 

Hark, how the Birds do Sing at Evening . . 72 



Our thanks are due to the Editors of 
PocLry and Drama, The Oxford Magazine, 
The Wesimimtcr Gazette, and The his for 
permission to reprint some of these poems. 

G. D. H. C. 
T. \V. E. 



GERALD CROW 

{HERTFORD) 



DO WE BEGIN? 

Do we begin or do we make an end 
When you and I part who have had fair da}- ? 
If we begin tlien I am glad of it, 
As a man kindling a wrought-silver lamp 
And casting perfumes in it might be glad. 
And if we make an end, I am glad too 
As a man might be laying down his book 
And knowing a fair tale has been well told. 



SUPPOSING WE HAD GONE DOWN 



SUPPOSING we had gone down into the dark 
Under the fascinating swirl of waves, 
Would you have given it me to clasp you round 
Before the sea-gulls came to kiss your eyes, 
And came long-fingered crabs to feast with you. 
And was no further talk of our desire 
Except the tide had made it musical 
Bone upon bone of us a little while ? 



ERIC DICKINSON 
(NON-COLL.) 



THE DANCE OF THE BLOOD-RED SUN 



AND when the sun sank down 
Toward the temple hill, 
When day's last bi'eath was blown 
And cicala's note was still : 
'Twas then Demeter's daughter 
To the stream by the hill would run, 
Would bend and kiss the grasses 
And dance to a blood-red sun. 

While cushats homeward wing, 
Pan hears some footsteps pass, 
As some first breath of spring 
Go sweeping o'er the grass : 
So slight, so swift, they pass. 
And as the feet speed by, 
A whisper shakes the trees — 
They nudge tliem for a lie 
And dream tliat no one sees ; 
A tremor shakes the grasses— 
" 'Tis some young hero passes !" 
But on Demeter's daughter 
To the stream by the hill has run ; 
Has bent and kissed the grasses, 
And danced to a blood-red sun. 



ESTHER LILIAN DUFF 
{HOME STUDENT) 



A KALENDAR 

I MADE a Kalendar of Saints 
To name upon my rosary, 
And daily I entreat their aid for thee. 

To guard thee during sleep 

I name St. Veep ; 

St. Prisca has thy wardrobe in her care, 

And blithe St. Hugh the dressing of thy hair ; 

St. ^ladoc aids the toilette of my fair. 

When thou betimes to household tasks repair, 

St. Silvester is there ; 

St. Chad inspects the linen and the lace ; 

Each polished spoon reflects the shining face 

Of St. Remigius, minister of grace, 

And o'er the meal presides St. Boniface. 

To keep thy missal, tempting thee to read, 
I name St. Bede ; 

And later, when thy friends shall visit thee, 
Ensuring that the talk be blithe and free, 
I seek betimes the bland St. Alphege ; 
Whilst to thy pen, lest haply thou shouldst need it, 
Attends St. Deusdedit. 
3 



A Kalendar 



And when the Httle masque of day is over, 

Gentle St. Damien of Villanova 

Takes charge of thee, and all that thou shalt know 

Of this hour's passing is that thou wilt grow 

Dreamily willing for the night, and so 

(Turning a bead in prayer to deft St. Probin 

For thine unrobing) 

To guai'd thee during sleep 

I name St. Veep. 



BLACK OXEN 

1 MARKED how black they were and strange, the oxen 
That bore your body to a resting-place, 
Where, when the work was done, 
We stood bareheaded for a little space. 

I marked how light you were to lower down, 
And wondered if you knew that I was there ; 
And, railing in the place. 
Remembered that you could not greatly care. 

So you are dead because we buried you, 
And oxen drew you to a resting-place. 
You must be dead, for as we buried you 
I trod the heaped-up earth about your face. 



LAD»S LOVE AND LAVENDER 

LAD'S love and lavender, 
Rosemai"}' and rue, 
I picked them in a posy 
And I offered them to you. 

It was only lad's love, 

But surely it was true ; 

Only wild grey lavender, 

But fragrant as it grew. 

I plucked the sprig of rosemary 

For memory of you : 

And was it to complete the tale 

I tied it up with rue ? 

Lad's love and lavender, 
Rosemary and rue, 
I picked them in a posy 
And I offered it to j'ou. 



7. W. EARP 
(EXETER) 



ECSTASY 



YEARS longer than years go by in bleak enduring. 
We bustle over humdrum, 
toil at some littleness, 

when suddenly a flame leaps up within us. 

Those things sense knew are whirled away, 

expunged, 

and sight itself is blinded by the dazzle, 

the blaze of glory. 

Briefly then we live 
till the dropped curtain. 

May you have hours where I have had but moments ! 



H 



THE CROWD 



ERE arc many different people, 
all roarinji with one voice. 



Beware ! 

Go not too near ! 

Or you will lose your voice 
and roar with them. 



LOVE-POEM 

I HAVE become so much a part of you, 
alas ! 
and the worse part, 

that you go down the street 
and hear men's praises 
with calm indifference ; 

while I, 

who follow, 

smile 

and am filled with pride. 



NOTTS 



m 



ou said. 



And I said, 

" Notts — 

oh yes, 

of course, 

but there are other places." 

And then I was silent quickly, 
for I remembered certain fields 
where I played when I was a child, 
with the November sunset over them. 



lo 



CRANES 

ALL day tliey have been busy about man's work, 
swinging great hods of bricks with eager whirr, 
but now they, too, endure the desires that lurk 
haunting the hours of night. 

They do not stir. 

Erect they suffer metalHc agony, 
struck to a frozen gesture, 
each a claw 
twitched up at heaven. 

All night long they see 

star upon star, 

and these they hunger for. 

Motionless, 

thrilled with longing, 

they vainly try 

to pluck a golden blossom down from the sky. 



II 



DEPARTURE 

I HAVE been reading books 
for about twenty years ; 
I have laughed with other men's laughter, 
wept wdth their tears. 

Life has been a cliche 
all these years. 

I would find a gesture of my own. 



12 



GODFREY ELTON 
(BALLIOL) 



SIX POEMS WRITTEN IN FOREIGN 
COUNTRIES 

I. 

IN Quetta lamps arc lighted, 
And like a sound in dreams 
The bugle calls at evening 
Across the seven streams ; 
How sweet and faint it seems ! 

Oh, here I am a soldier, 

And here my heart must stay 
Till twilight's in the barracks 

And with the end of day 

My heart is far away. 

For Hannah Pass is rocky 

And high is Murdar Hill, 
But oh, for June in Hampshire 

And the fields my people till 

My heart is crying still. 

The honeysuckle hedges 
They will be dusty white, 

Where grass-mowers go singing 
Along the golden light 
Down smooth fields out of sight. 

Surely on some long evening 
When rooks call down the lane, 

And on the fields at twilight 
All softly falls the rain, 
We shall come home again ; 



Six Poems written in Foreign Countries 



When faint, far cries of sunset 
Are in the lime-trees cool, 

And by the ancient spinney 
Up from the hidden pool 
The boys troop back to school. 

For Hannah Pass is rocky 
And high is Murdar Hill, 

But oh, of Jim e In England 
And the fields our people till 
Our hearts arc dreaming still. 



II. 



QUETTA, I915. 



TyJy^HAT of the woods on sinnmcr evenings xcide 

We have looked down upon from Broadmoor hill, 
And our dear pool beyond the Barkhatn ride, 
Is this as sunlit and as silent still / 

The summer evenings are as lingering still 

Along tlie Ovvlsmoor heather golden, cool, 
And where the dogs swam out by Barkham hill 

No shadow falls on the unruffled pool. 

Do you climb up by Sandhurst wood alone 

To watch the moon rise over Eversley, 
And where far up the glimmering pines make moan 

Look dozen tlie valley and remember me ? 

Dream not of our old summers where the rain 
Falls whispering towards the ancient Rhine ; 

Sleep and forget ; though never now again 
Shall we together thread the lands of pine. 

Yet happier boys hour long shall loiter still 

Along the Owlsmoor heather golden, cool, 
And where our dogs swam out by Barkham hill 
No shadow fall on the unruffled pool. 

Mediterranean Sea, 1914. 
14 



Six Poems written in Foreign Countries 
III. 

IN a garden where bees murmured 
A droning sunny dream 
First heard I that old story, 

Thy story, Polypheme. 
And half my heart enraptured 

Held present peace for nought, 
Weaving the long adventure 

Along the looms of thought. 
Yet to the tale had entered 

The scent of lilac-trees 
And down that ancient garden 

The dreamlike sound of bees. 
And to a tune more subtle 

Beneath his warrior Greek, 
The tune of endless summers, 

I heard Odysseus speak. 

This evening sailing eastward 

That blue, rejoicing stream 
I found thy fabled island. 

Thy island, Polypheme ; 
And half my heart enraptured 

Holds all but strife for nought ; 
Weaving a new adventure 

Along the looms of thought. 
Yet though I hear Adventure 

Singing so clear and low, 
My heart is drugged with memory 

Of summers long ago, 
And from the past there riseth 

The scent of lilac-trees. 
The sleepy, ancient garden, 

The dreamlike sound of bees. 

Mediterranean Sea, 1914. 
1^ 



Six Poems written in Foreign Countries 



IV. 

ABOVK, the hot white high-road, 
Tlie cool, dim woods below — 
The sunny road to Sandhurst 
I knew so long ago. 

Deep down, hot, through the pine-stem^ 
In that deep, shadowy wood 

Shows sunlight on the heatlier 
Where you :ind Douglas stood, 

And faint from over Bracknell 
And Owlsmoor's leaf-strewn dells 

Across the silent pinewoods 
There comes a sound of bells. 

Still lies that narrow clearing 

Sunlit and sweet with bees, 
And still keep watcli around it 

Unchanging, silent trees ; 

The hot, bee-haunted heather 
Still from tlie highway shows, 

But now along that heathland 
No sundrowsed wanderer goes. 

Only from over Bracknell 

And Owlsmoor's leaf-strewn dells 
Across the silent pine woods 

There comes a sound of bells. 



Qdetta, 1915 



16 



Six Poems written in Foreign Countries 



V. 

THE last bell rings, the summer term is dying, 
The chapel lights gleam out along the court, 
Faintly the organ sounds, for old years sighing 
That pass more swift than thought. 

And then the undersound, the welcome thunder 
Of thronging boys beneath the ancient gate- 
Gay and well-loved, has any guessed, I wonder. 
When comes the unquestioned fate ? 

At this last hour before the huge awaking, 
Ere all the fruit of love and peace be shed, 

Behold, your comrades for the great leave-taking 
Throng up from summers dead. 

They too have knelt, sun-flushed from July weather, 
Down these long, lamplit aisles in evenings past, 

And in old years were gathered here together 
To say farewell at last. 

Ah ! many of this much wept-for phantom number, 
Whose delicate youth made dear our summer land, 

Fell in far wars and now forgotten slumber 
In Sind or Malakand. 

The organ fills with thankfulness and sorrow, 
Murmur the tranquil prayers. O happy place, 

How many here shall sleep with these to-morrow 
That were thy earlier race ? 

Ah ! mighty throng of schoolboys proud and slender. 
Not here again shall you your Vespers tell ; 

The last hour ends ; kneel down, give thanks, and render 
To your dear youth farewell. 

Qdetta, 1915. 



17 



Six Poems written in Foreign Countries 

VI. 

STILL through the woods of childhood 
With autumn one by one 
The golden leaves go fluttering 

Down shafts of woodland sun ; 
The long path through the heather 

Still finds the hidden pool 
Where far through dell and spinney 
The last bell sounds from school. 

Oh, far across the meadows 

By lone hill copses tall 
Where through sun-chequered silence 

All day the oak leaves fall, 
By slanting, windless beechwoods 

Leaf-strewn in valleys deep 
Where lulled by hidden ring doves 

The sun-drowsed copses sleep, 

Faintly the far bell niurniurs 

At whose insistent call 
Across her starlit courtyards 

How loud the footsteps fall ! 
I see the lighted windows, 

I hear the voices hum, 
The great bell calls ' Come quickly,' 

But I, I do not come. 

Six thousand miles to eastward 

My bones are buried deep ; 
The bell rings on for ever, 

They stir not in their sleep. 
Yet through the huge dim woodlands, 

Agelong by childhood's ways, 
My happy spirit wanders, 

Dreaming of olden days. 

Chasma Tangi, Balcchistan, 1915. 
X8 



H. R. FRESTON 
(EXETER) 



A GIRL'S SONG 



HE would make me idle as the droning bees 
In some aged pine-wood, sad at set of sun ; 
You would make mc splendid as the plunging seas, 

When at call of morning the great tides shoreward run. 

He would make me sigh for languor and repose, 
Frail as some tall lil}' bruised by liuman hands ; 

You would make me blush for joy, like a laugliing rose 
Woke to sudden splendour on sun-warmed lands. 

Beauty lies in sorrow, lovely as the snow 

Lying on a ruined town, that once was blithe and gay ; 
Beauty wakes in gladness, like a dream of long ago 

Waking into music at opening of the day. 



19 



SOMETIMES I WONDER 

SOMETIMES I wonder if you know 
How, when we meet in road or lane, 
]\Iy heart leaps up and trembles so 
I think it ne'er will quiet again : 
Sometimes I wonder if you know. 

Sometimes I wonder if you guess. 
Behind each careless word of mine. 
There lurks a passionate caress — 
Although I make no outward sign : 
Sometimes I wonder if you guess. 

Always I find you calm, and yet 

So strange your eyes, so strange your smile, 

Sometimes I think they hold regret, 

A wished-for something all the while ; 

Always I find you calm, and yet . . . 

Sometimes I think you understand 
That, when the magic hour draws near,' 
Suddenly I shall seize your hand. 
And kiss your lips, and call you dear : 
Sometimes I think you understand. 



RUSSELL GREEN 
{QUEEN'S) 



LAMENT 

O WOULD that beauty clothed no living thing ! 
It is a curse that ever it should cling 
To that which lies within the doom of death. 

Why are you not a ring of tawny gold, 
Why are you not a sapphire I might hold, 
Rather than warm of blood and warm of breath ? 

For then love would not crave for love's return. 
No more the need laboriously to learn 
The baffling byways of a silent heart. 

No more a pilgrim of the endless quest, 
When in my hand the quiet gem sliould rest 
In mute fulfilment of a mute desire. 

No more the unattainable— the goal 
Unreached by all the travellings of the soul — 
The distant tremors of a fading fire. 



21 



NAOMI M. HALDANE 
(HOME STUDENT) 



AWAKENING OF THE BACCH^ 

WE were asleep in sleepy fields, 
In summer-scented fields of hay, 
Or where that heavy oak-copse shields 
Pale bracken from the light of day — 
We were asleep and dreaming endlessly. 
No breath of May or June us from our dreams could sever- 
Dreams like long furrows in a crested sea. 
We were asleep, but now are awake for ever. 

And as we woke we saw the stars 

Stream overhead across the night, 

Till all the East was streaked with bars 

Of swiftly-growing milky light. 

And when the dawn had swept across the sky. 

Ah, past all hoping and past all endeavour, 

We felt new life at every pulse-beat cry. 

We were asleep, but now are awake for ever. 

So it was nowise strange to see, 

When we leapt up, the dappled skin, 

The thyrsus twining wondrously, 

The wine we steeped our faces in. 

We felt the Bulls' breath burning on our brows, 

The branding god-mark that will leave us never, 

Strong in the wisdom which that touch endows : 

We were asleep, but now are awake for ever. 



H. C. HARWOOD 
(BAUJOL) 



FROM THE YOUTH OF ALL NATIONS 

THINK not, my elders, to rejoice 
When from the nations' wreck we rise, 
With a new thunder in our voice 
And a new lightning in our eyes. 

You called with patriotic sneers, 

And drums and sentimental songs. 
We came from out the vernal years 

Thus bloodily to right your wrongs. 

The sins of many centuries, 
Sealed by your indolence and fright, 

Have earned us these our agonies : 
The thunderous appalling night 

When from the lurid darkness came 

The pains of poison and of shell, 
The broken heart, the world's ill-fame, 

The lonely arrogance of hell. 

Faintly, as from a game afar, 

Your wrangles and your patronage 
Come drifting to the work of war, 

Which you have made our heritage. 

Oh, chide us not. Not ours the crime. 

Oh, praise us not. It is not won. 
The fight which we shall make sublime 

Beneath an unaccustomed sun. 



From the Youth of All Nations 

The simple world of childhood fades 
Beyond the Styx that all have passed ; 

This is a novel land of shades, 
Wherein no ancient glories last. 

A land of desolation, blurred 
By mists of penitence and woe, 

Where every hope must be deferred 
And every river backward flow. 

Not on this grey and ruined plain 

Shall we obedient recall 
Your cities to rebuild again 

For their inevitable fall. 

We kneel at no ancestral shrine. 

With admirable blasphemy 
We desecrate the old divine 

And dream a new eternity. 

Destroy the history of men. 
The weary cycle of decay. 

We shall not pass that way again. 
We tread a new untrodden way. 

Though scattered wider yet our youth 
On every sea and continent, 

There shall come bitter with the truth 
A fraction of the sons you sent. 

When slowly with averted head, 
Some darkly, some with halting feet. 

And bowed with mourning for the dead 
We walk the cheering, fluttering street 
24 



From the Youth of All Nations 

A music terrible, austere 

Shall rise from our returning ranks 
To change your merriment to fear, 

And slay upon 3'our lips your thanks ; 

And on the brooding weary brows 

Of stronger sons, close enemies, 
Are writ the ruin of your house 

And swift usurping dynasties. 



25 



THE PRAYER OF THE VIRGIN MARY 



GIVE me the strength for one more day 
To do the ordinary thing ; 
To scrub and cook and watch and pray, 
And tranquilly at night to sing 
A luUahl}^ to Jim and John, 
And memories to the boy who's gone. 

You know the wars and argument 
Brought on the world by feckless men. 
Preserve onr home from discontent, 
Bring back my eldest boy again ; 

And let us live among the strife 

An orderly and simple life. 

And when we go, as go we must, 
My man and I, to burying-place, 
Still let our children put their trust 
In you and your unbounded grace, 
And marry well, and live at ease. 
And take strong babies on their knees. 



26 



A. L. HUXLEY 
(BALUOL) 



HOME-SICKNESS . . . FROM THE 
TOWN 

FROU-FROUERY and faint patchouli smells, 
And debile virgins talking Keats, 
And the arch widow in accordion pleats, 
Artfully fringing with the tales she tells 
The giggling prurient. 

Life nauseous ! Let the whole crowd be sent 
To the chosen limbos and appropriate hells 
Reserved in memory's blackest stagnancy. 
Back, back ! No Social Contract ! From the teats 
Of our old wolfish mother nature drink 
Sweet unrestraint and lust and savagery. 
Feel goat-hair growing thick and redolent 
On loin and thigh ; look back 
And mark the cloven hoof-marks of tlie track 
You leave, then forward eyes again ; no wink, 
Lest for an instant you should miss the sight 
Of moony floating flanks and haunches white 
Flashed by your fleeing n}'mph girl through the leaves. 



27 



LESLIE PHILLIPS JONES* 
(ORIEL) 



PEACE 

A COOL calm night, 
And a "lowing fire, 
Then the stately toll of a chime, 
Midst the stillness of thoughts 
Seen through the haze of time ; 
Lingering vaguely the while 
A soft dull light, 
And a tall grand spire, 
Bold, black 'gainst the dusky sky, 
An echo fading in space, 
And the rising wind's sigh 
Crooning, lulling — then sleep. 

Killed in action, June 6, 1915, in the Dardanelles. 



28 



R. S. LAMBERT 
( WADHAM) 



FOR A FOLK-SONG 

O LONDON, O London, 
I've heard of thee and thine. 
How wide and full the highways. 
With shops so wondrous fine. 

So brightly do they glimmer, 

A man abroad by night 
Would say the stars in heaven 

Came down to give them light. 

And there be mighty buildings 
That cast their shadow far. 

And strange unceasing noises 
Such as in cities are. 

O London, O London, 

Mother of us thou art, 
Who callest to thy children 

And takest them to heart. 

Where shall a man be resting. 
And his body there found ? 

Be it far he sleeps, his soul 
Is still on London ground. 
29 



'or a Folk-Song 



O London, O London, 
I must a journey go ; 

And parting is a sorrow, 
Surely a bitter woe. 

Then shall we but forget thee, 
And wander faithlessly ; 

God put His curse upon us. 
To dwell in the country ! 



30 



WAR-TIME 

DRl'MS ,i*o fortli to the inarching, 
And many battalions of fighters, 
And the dark ships 
Lie upon the sea waiting, 
And the sound of the great guns 
Is driven across the slanting sky : 
But my heart is not gone with them, 
My soul hath folded her wings 
In a great silence, 
And hath sore shame 
Amidst the much sliouting. . . . 
Far away my soul hath flown 
Searching, searching for forgotten Peace ; 
She, the clear-eyed one, the dove of the deathless gods, 
She hath departed away from us, 
And we are given over to darkness and hatred. 
I will go far awandering. 
Looking for my lost love. 
For all the light of the heavens 
Is fading about the faintness of her footstep. . . . 



31 



AGNES E. MURRAY 

{SOMERVILLE) 



DOMINO MEO 

1WAIT at the cottage door — looking out on the dusty highway ; 
Long, long have I waited, from the hrst red flush of the morning, 
When the fragrance of all the world drifted out on the vagrant 

winds. 
The men with their horned oxen passed bj^ to the burnislied wheat- 

lields, 
Bright blue shirts on their backs, and gleaming scythes on their 

shoulders, 
And behind them the women and girls clothed in crimson and 

russet. 
Fresh from the deep night's slumber, with laughter beneath their 

lashes. 
I hear the songs in the cornfields, the ripple of laughter ringing 
Along the deserted highway ; the sun is rising to noonday. 
And tlie sound of the reapers is still ; everywhere men are sleeping, 
Seeking the shade of the branches in the tense, irresistible heat. 
The dust lies w-hite on the highway unstirred by the foot of the 

traveller. 
I wait and the shadows grow longer— light breaths stir in the 

branches ; 
And soon they are driving their oxen, with jingling bells on the 

harness. 
The young men and maidens come laughing, with red corn sheaves 

on their shoulders ; 
They turn and stare as they pass me ; wondering, ask one another : 
" Who is it— whence comes he— this stranger, whom all day long 

she awaitelh ?" 

32 



Domino Meo 

And then pass on to their homesteads ; the shadows He black, and 

the cornfields, 
Blood red, gleam in the sunset. Now a pale star has kindled 
A torch in the west — another, and after, another come out. 
Till the pale, flushed sky is aglitter with myriad on myriad of 

torches. 
I wait — and shall wait till the time come, when he my master shall 

luid me ; 
1 feel not my limbs beneath me, they are numb with the long, long 

vigil. 
The sunlight is left in the darkness, but the earth is crowned with 

starlight. 
I strain my ears thro' the stillness — the stillness that hangs like a 

shadow. 
And holds the breath of the world. 
Deep breaths of fragrance enfold me — the fragrance of burgroning 

blossoms, 
Of rose, and of jasmine, and myrtle, and the deep purple flower 

of slumber. 
Moths flit white in the blackness, brushing my face in their passing ; 
An owl hoots low in the distance ; a night-jar croaks by the river. 
I strain my ears thro' the darkness for the sound of passing foot- 
steps ; 
I hear a step in the distance — the swift light tread of my loved one — 
And my deep heart beats and trembles like the wings of a liird in 

flight. 
He will come with his young lithe limbs, supple and bright as the 

panther's ; 
He will come, with his glorious face like lightning across the 

clouds, 
And eyes like the deep night sky where clustering stars are the 

thickest. 
That I bow and tremble before, for they are the shrine ot m} 

worship. 
Lips that are fiery wine — lips that scorch and subdue ; 
I have woven the web of my life on the loom of my love for thee : 

33 3 



Domino Meo 

Lowly, percliance, the web, but glorious thrice was the loom. 

All that was fairest and fiercest I wove, and the threads were 
resplendent. 

I caught the light of the stars and the flash of the sun on the wave- 
tops, 

The songs of an hundred birds, and the breath of the wind at mid- 
night. 

All the colour and sound and scent of llie world liave 1 'gathered 

And wrought in a shining web, beloved, my master, for thee. 

The steps come noar on the highway — or, let them pause for a 
moment ; 

There is your handmaid waitin-^ : year upon year has she waited. 

Fool — thrice fool in your dreaming — the footsteps have passed 

without pausing ; 
I saw his face in the darkness, but I could not move my lips 
To cry aloud on his name, for my soul was dumb in its longing. 
His face was glorious, heedless, and proud, and he recked not his 

lover 
Stood waiting : he passed in the darkness — his footsteps were lost in 

the stillness. 
And now, tho' I wait for a lifetime, he will not pass again ! 
I stretch my arms thro' the darkness — vainly — vainly in longing. 
Oh ! thou, my dearly beloved, wilt thou not hear, tho' unuttered, 
The wail of my cry for thee — the cry for a great prize lost ? 



34 



ROBERT NICHOLS 
{TRINITY) 



THE PRINCE OF ORMUZ SINGS TO 
BADOURA 

WHEN she kisses me with her lips I become 
A roc, that giant, that fabulous bird. 
And over the desert vast, yellow, and dumb 
I wheel, and my jubilant screaming is heard — 
A voice, an echo, high up and glad, 
Over the domes and green pools of Bagdad. 

But when she kisses me with her eyes 
My heart melts in me. She is my sun ; 
She strokes my snow. I am loosed, I arise. 
A brook of water I run, I run. 
Crystal water sunny and sweet. 
Laughing and weeping, to fawn at her feet. 



35 



MIDDAY 

THE earth is still : only the white sun climbs 
Through the green silence of the branching limes, 
Whose linked flowers hanging from the still tree-top 
Distill their soundless s}Tup drop by drop, 
While 'twixt the starry bracket of their lips 
The black bee, drowsing, floats, and, drowsing, sips. 
The flimsy leaves hang on the bright, blue air 
Calm suspended. Deep peace is everywhere 
Filled with the murmurous rumour of high noon. 
Earth seems with open eyes to sink and swoon. 
In the sky peace : where nothing moves 
Save the sun, that smiles and loves. 
A quivering peace is on the grass. 
Through the noon gloam butterflies pass 
White and hot, blue only to where 
They can float flat and dream on the soft air. 
The trees are asleep — beautiful, slumbrous trees ! 
Stirred only by the passion of the breeze, 
That, like a warm wave welling over rocks. 
Lifts and loosens the mass of drowsing locks. 
Earth, too, under the profound grass 
Sleeps and sleeps, and softly heaves her slumbrous mass. 
The Earth sleeps ; sleeps the newly-buried clay, 
Or doth divinity trouble it to live alway ? 

No voice uplifts from under the rapt crust, 
The dust cries to the unregarding dust. 
36 



Midday 



Over the hill the stopped notes of twin reeds 

Speak like drops from an old wound that bleeds. 

A yokel's pipe an ancient pastoral sings 

Above the innumerable murmur of hid wings. 

I hear the cadence, sorrowful and sweet, 

The oldest burthen of the earth repeat : — 

All love, all passion, all strife, all dehght 

Are but the dreams that haunt Earth's visioned night. 

In her eternal consciousness the stir 

Of Judas or Jesus is no more to her 

Than you or I : being all part of dreams 

The shadowiest shadow of a thing that seems. 

The images the lone pipe-player sees 

Sitting and playing to the lone, noon breeze. 

One note, one life ! 

They sleep : soon we as these ! 



37 



THE TOWER 

IT was deep night, and over Jerusalem's pale roofs 
The moon floated, drifting through high, vapourous woofs ; 
The moonlight crept and glistened silent, solemn, sweet, 
Over dome and column, down empty, listening street. 
In the closed, scented gardens the rose loosed from the stem 
Her white, showering petals : none regarded them. 
The starry thicket breathed odours to the sentinel palm : 
Silence possessed the city like a soul possessed bv calm. 

Not a spark in the warren under the giant night, 
Save where in a turret's lantern beamed a grave, still light : 
There in an upper chamber a gold-e3'cd lamp was lit — 
Marvellous lamp in darkness, informing, redeeming it ! 
For set in that tiny lantern Jesus, the blessed and doomed, 
Spoke to the lone apostles as light to men entombed ; 
And spreading his hands in blessing, as one soon to be dead, 
He put soft enchantment into spare wine and bread. 

The hearts of the disciples were broken and full of tears 
Because their lord the spearless was hedged about with spears. 
And in his face the sickness of departure had spread a gloom 
At leaving his young friends friendless : they could not forget the 
tomb. 

He smiled subduedly, telling in tones soft as voice of the dove 
The endlessness of sorrow, the eternal solace of love. 
And lifting the earthy tokens, wine and sorrowful bread, 
He bade them sup, and remember one wlio lived and was dead. 

38 



The Tower 

And they could not restrain their weeping. 

But one rose to depart, 
Having weakness and hate of weakness raging within his heart, 
And bowed to the robed assembly, whose eyes gleiimed wet in the 

light. 
Judas arose and. departed : night went out to the night. 

Then Jesus lifted his voice hke a fountain in an ocean of tears, 
And comforted his disciples, and calmed and allayed their fears. 

Judas wound down the turret, creeping from floor to floor, 
And would fly — but one leaning, weeping, barred him beside the door ! 
And he knew her by her ruddy garment and two yet- watching men : 
Mary of Seven Sorrows, Mary Magdalen. 

And he was frighted at her. 

She sighed, " I dreamed him dead. 
And that 'twas I who sold him by sin." 

Then Judas fled 
Out into the night ! . . . The moon had begun to set. 
A drear small wind went, sifting, setting the dust afret. . . . 
Into the heart of the city Judas ran on and prayed 
To stern Jehovah, lest his deed make him afraid. 

But in the spiry turret, hanging as if on air, 
The disciples sat unspeaking. Amaze and peace were there. 
For Ills voice, more lovely than song of all earthly birds. 
In accents humble and happy, spoke slow, consoling words. 

Then Jesus discoursed, and was silent, sitting upright, and soon 
Past the window behind him slanted the setting moon. 
And rising for Olivet, all stared betwixt love and dread, 
Seeing the moon a ruddy halo behind his head. 



39 



ELIZABETH KENDALL 

(HOME STUDENT) 



FRANKLIN KANE 

SILK I had for you, Madonna — you shook your small dear head- 
"Silk I have and silk enough, a store of it," \-ou said, 
Content I laid the web awa}', you lacked some cotton thread. 

A cup I filled for you, ]\Iadonna, but other hands than mine, 
More meet, had given you to know the magic of the vine. 
I poured within my empty cup fresh water for the wine. 

A song I made for you, Madonna — it was my very best — 
But your heart had heard the melody that will not let us rest, 
Yet your lips had need of laughter, so I sang it as a jest. 

Love I had for you, Madonna, because I looked on you. 
But long ago your love was gone to pay its happy due ; 
Love 3'^ou had, and love enough, and yet your friends were few. 

My days are sweet. Madonna — sweet to their fartliest end. 
You, rich beyond all telling, had need that I should send 
Cotton thread and clear clean water and jesting and a friend. 



40 



A BALLAD OF DOOM 

LADIES, pretty ladies, 
What do you lack ? 
Ladies, pretty ladies, 

Choose from my pack. 
All the way to Heaven and all the way to Hell 
I went to fetch the fairings I have to sell. " 

" If you've been to Heaven, if you've been to Hell, 
I will pay a pretty price for a thing that you can tell — 
How does my true love and how fares the foe 
Who slew him on a winter's night, very long ago ?" 

" I went the road to Heaven — it is a weary way — 

I passed the open gate of Hell — you may reach it in a day — 

Of all the many folk I saw, how should I know 

Which was your true love and which was your foe ?" 

" My love he is a gallant, blue-eyed and debonair " — 
'' A thousand thousand such as he you may meet with anywhere " — 
" He bears upon his breast the marks of wounds and kisses seven." 
" I saw not any man like this in all the courts of Heaven." 

" My foe he is a dour man and his hand is bitten through — 
A Httle sign of love I gave for the deed he willed to do" — 
" Lady, pretty lady, 'tis other news you lack." 
"This fairing only, pedlar, will I have from out your pack.'' 



41 



A Ballad of Doom 

" O lady, there in Heaven I saw the blessed stand 
A-praising God, and one there was who had a bitten hand ; 
And one among the damned I saw, who know not any rest, 
Marks of wounds and kisses seven were burning on his breast. 



" Go, go again, good pedlar, and bring me word again 
Why he I hate is doomed to bliss and he I love to pain. 
Go cry my name in Heaven, in Hell my name declare, 
That I may know before I go what was answered there." 



" Lady, pretty lady, 

What do you lack ? 
Lady, pretty lady, 

Choose from my pack. 
I've been again to Heaven, I've been again to 

Hell, 
Here are news that you may choose from those 
I have to sell." 

" O what said my lover and what said my foe ? 

Tell me, trusty pedlar, that I may know. 

I'll take the road to Heaven or go my way to Hell, 

Give me news that I may choose and I will pay you well." 

" I cried your name before the damned, and he who was j-our friend — 
' A curse upon the silly fool who brought me to my end ': 
I cried your name before the saints, and he who was your foe 
Caught me with his bitten hand and would not let me go. 

" He held me long in mj' despite, conjuring me by God 

And hope of Heaven, to come again back by the path I trod 

And swear your false-fair lover had been for ever true, 

And he your foe was damned in Hell for the deed he dared to do." 

42 



A Ballad of Doom 

" I'll climb the road to Heaven and kiss the wounded liand 
Of him who is a lover true, and lie will understand. 
Then will I take my way to Hell, unto my lover-foe — 
False or true I love him, and God will let me go." 

" Ladies, pretty ladies, 

What do you lack ? 
Ladies, pretty ladies. 

Choose from my pack. 
All the way to Heaven and all the way to Hell 
I went to fetch these pretty fairings I have to 
sell." 



43 



THE RETURN 

LAST night my virgin spirit sinned — 
It fled along the ways of wind 
Nakedly I, to seek your breast. 
Knowing what chanced, I would not tell. 
It crept ere moonrise back to Hell, 
A little sobbing and distrest. 



44 



L. RICE-OXLEY 
{KEBLE) 



NIGHT 

AND now dark sleep has climbed the highest hill, 
And no last sunlight keeps awake the day ; 
One after one the stars rise up until 
They gather to night's surface and the bay 
Of heav'n is sparkling with their thousand lights. 
Such silence and such stillness that afar 
You seem to hear as ever on such nights 
The flickering of every burning star. 
Oh, what fair compass this the course to mark 
Of wanderers in the night ; for, strange it seems, 
Though all is light in heaven the earth is dark, 
Till stately through the trees the chaste moon gleams. 
Round, in the silver fairest of her moods, 
Like Dian hunting in her native woods. 



45 



PETROL, NIGHT, AND A ROAD 

To C. P. H. AND THE B, S. A. 

SWIFT life and light 
On a desolate road 
When the night is still deep 
With its fulness of stars, 
And there goes from the lamp, 
Set before, the command 
" Let there be light," 
And a white patch of road 
Swiftly flees onward. 

Oh, who hath not felt it, 
Greatly exulting, 
That divine motion, 
The glory of speed ; 
Who hath not felt it 
But feels that his heart 
Is one with the engines, 
Braced to endeavour, 
Strong for a trial 
Of swiftness and strength. 
And fired with a joy 
And a zeal to be onward ? 
46 



Petrol, Night, and a Road 

Swift life and light 

In the deadness and darkness 

Of the deep of night : 

In the silence of sleep 

The strong delight 

Of the rapid beat, 

Urging the wheels 

To follow the fleet 

White beam on the road. 

Swift life and light 

And a wind that is hurling 

Itself through the night 

With a scream past our ears, 

With a frantic might 

Like a wretch distraught, 

Mad in the dark 

And fleeing the thought 

Of fiends on the road. 

Swift life and light 
In the heavens above us, 
Where worlds are burning 
With fire and speed. 
But fair as the stars 
We with our lamp, 
With quick-pulsing spark, 
And shake of engine, 
Speed on the road. 
Shoot meteoric. 
Adventuresome, 
Glorious ! 

Too soon our lamp's light 
Is merged in a Ht street, 
Losing its potency. 
And the wheels once so fleet 
47 



Petrol, Night, and a Road 



Slow down, and the engine stops, 
And sudden the stillness 
Aches, till the ears 
Grow used to the silence. 

And I thank you now 

For the joy of that journeying, 

For the sense of man's vigour, 

For the knowledge that Beauty 

Hates not machinery 

Neither modernity. 

For the exultation 

Of life and light 

On the free, dark road. 



48 



DOROTHY H. ROWE 

(SOMERVILLE) 



AN OLD RHYME RE-SUNG 

". . . HERE COMES AN OLD SOLDIER . . ." 

DOWN the dusty highway, trooping with the stars, 
Comes old Year, a soldier returning from the wars, — 
Out at-elbow, downat-heel, shuffling in his shoe, 
With a knapsack full of looting, 

Of summertime freebooting. 
Threadbare at the corners, where the sunsliine filters through. 

Who beheld the youth of him, — how he marched away, 
Confident, resplendent, in the morning of a day, — 
Heels of air and heart of grace, bragging of the Spring, 
With the trumpets of the fourth Wind, 
The near Wind, the North Wind, 
And half the world as mad as March to hear his trumpeting r 

Where's the martial pageantry that used to flout the sky ? 
Flung to sport by every air that blows the leaves awry ; 
W^hile the old Year limps along, whistling out of tune. 
And, gorgeous in his old rags, 

Red rags, gold rags, 
Flaunts the tawdry tatters of the glory that was June. 



49 



DOROTHY L. SAYERS 

(SOMERVILLE) 



LAY 



" Item, quant est des laiz, c'est une chose longue et malaisee a faire et trouver, 
car il y faut avoir xii. couples, chascune partie en deux, qui font xxiiii. Et est la 
couple aucunefoiz de viii. vers, qui font xvi.; aucunefoiz de ix. qui fontxviii.; 
aucunefoiz de x. qui font xx. ; aucunefoiz de xii. qui font xxiiii., de vers entiers ou 
de vers coppez. Et convient que la taille de chascune couple a deux paragraies 
soient d'une rime toutes differens I'une a I'autre, excepte tant seulement que la 
darreniere couple des xii., qui font xxiiii., et qui est et doit estre conclusion du 
lay, soit de pareille rime, et d'autant de vers, sanz redite, comme la premiere 
couple." 

EUST.XCHE Desch.\MPS: U Art de Dictier. 



M 



UMMERS! let love go by 
With his crown upon his head, 



Beaten royally 

Of gold, heavy and red ; 
Your tinsel garments fly 

To the trip of a lightsome tread, 

The gusty gale has fled, 
And your garlands arc blown awry. 

Sniggering, whisperingly, 

What was the thing you said ? 

" Poor old love ? Oh, ay ! 
Put him away to bed 

With his wearisome song and sigh- 
We've a ragtime tune instead 
But yours is already dead, 

And his can never die. 
50 



Lay 



II. 



OXFORD 1 suffer it once again that anotiier should do thcc wrong, 
I also, I above all, should set thee into a song ; 
I that am twice thy child have known thee, worshipped thee, 

loved thee, cried 
Thy name aloud to the silence and could not be satisfied, 
For my hands were stretched to clutch thee, draw thee up to 
my side, 
And my heart has leapt and my breath has failed, to hear the tongue 
Of Tom toll in the dark, and straight unpanoplied 
My soul has almost died. 

Bear with me as thou hast borne with all thy passionate throng 
Of lovers, the fools of love ; for the great flood sweeps along 

From the hills into the sea, and all their boats go down with the 
tide; 

And thou shalt stand unmoved, when the wreck of the world beside. 

When the loveless cities of greed sHp down in their ruined pride 
And crumble into the gulf of Time. Thou shalt be strong 

With Thebes and On and Memphis, where the deathless gods abide, 

A city sanctified. 

III. 

IF I shall sing of thee in antique rime. 
Stately and cold as moons that near eclipse, 
And intricate as bells rung down in time, 
It is to keep the madness from my lips, 
Whereby the lover's tongue stumbles and trips, 
Uttering fooHshness, and thy subhme 

White brow is marred with mockery — garlands to whips. 
Sceptres to reeds are turned, and worship to a crime. 

Think, magic city, that as each dear chime 

Thrills the mute, friendless night, or stealthily drips 

Through all the noise of noon from prime to prime. 
Continually some new soul comes to grips 
51 



Lay 



With thee and all the power of thee. He slip^ 
To seaward, weighs out anchor from the slime, 

Following the wake of countless golden ships 
Thy figure at the prow, to some far western clime. 



IV. 

THOU art so magical 
Thou makest me afraid, 
Lest some great bolt of desolation fall. 

And thou in dust be laid 
With Babylon and Nineveh the tall ; 
Or some enchanted lake will cover thee all, 

And through quadrangle, cloister, colonnade, 
Four-coloured fishes swim, and, faint and small. 
Up through the waves at midnight the bells of Magdalen call. 
Through midnight waters mighty Tom will call. 

Or when, perchance, tlie pall 
Of some nocturnal shade 

Unstarred, more dewy-dark than usual, 
Lifts upon hill and glade, 

I fear lest sunrise strike upon no wall, 

No winding street nor ghost-white pinnacle- 
Only on level woodlands, lonely made 

Of thee, as once, by arts incredible, 

The holy castle vanished behind Sir Percival, 

At morning light was not, for Percival. 



V. 

ONCE Nimue, the lady of the lake, 
Wound aged Merlin in the coils of sleep. 
And cast the silence of the luminous, deep 
Green forest all about him, there to take 
52 



Lay 



His rest for ever ; no alarm might shake 
The stilhicss, no wild creature snuff or peep 
On him, no knight arouse him with the leap 

Of his tall war-horse plunging through the brake. 

And that enchantress, Venus, for the sake 
Of young Pygmalion, weary to see him creep 
Kissing his idol's senseless foot, and weep. 

Smote life into the stone, and so did slake 

His thirst of love. And thou ? The willows quake 
By the clear Cher, thick-clustered dewdrops steep 
The heads of mossy gargoyle-beasts, that keep 

Their wide, shy smile. And do we dream or wake ? 



VI. 

ONLY one painter could have painted thee, 
Still mother with the unimpassioned eyes, 
Dark with the mystery 
Of many centuries, 

Couldst thou have walked in a woman's guise 
Under the blue, exulting skies 
Of Italy 

In the great sunrise. 

All things that were, and now are, and shall be 
Graven upon thy heart, have made thee wise 

To smile inscrutably ; 
All aid thou couldst despise 
Of reeds and fanciful psalteries, 
Strange face of kindness and cruelties, 

Immutably 
Without surprise. 



53 



Lay 

VII. 

THY name is as the scent of things departed — 
Of myrrh and unrcmembercd frankincense, 
Stored in the niches of dim chapels, dense 
With hidden tales of penitence, 
With wreathed prayer and desperate vows red-hearted, 
Whose ancient eloquence 
Knocks on the doors of sense 
When in thy haunted shrines I kneel without defence ; 

Like one that sails on ice-dark waters, charted 

By wrinkled mariners at dear expense. 

Who trims the sails with careful diligence. 

And though the pole-star burn intense, 
Shudders to know how many ships thus started, 

Feeling the wrath commence 

Of old experience. 

And drowned green ghosts that crawl from unsuspected dens. 



VIII. 

HOW shall I let thee go ? for thou didst wring 
All myself from me ; I would not withhold 
One citadel, but gave thee ever3'thing. 

Perhaps a better wisdom had controlled 
The gift, had kept some solitary string 
Thou couldst not shake, some secret still untold, 
So that thou hadst not left me unconsoled 
At thy departure. All this sorrowing 
Would not be mine to-day had I been strong of old. 

But now — too late ! the fleeing shadows bring 
The unsheathed swords of morning, sharp and cold. 

Thou breakest from me — I am weakening — 
Last night wast thou so mighty ? I behold 
54 



Lay 



Glimmering betwixt the fcatlicrs of thy wing, 
Westward the stars, eastward the sunrise gold, 
O stay ! my hands about thy feet are bold. 

Curse me or bless, thou godhke, deadly thing. 

By the Lord's living face I will not loose my hold ! 

IX. 

THE moonlight over Radcliffe Square, 
Small sunset spires that drowse and dream, 
Thin bells that ring to evening prayer. 
Red willow-roots along the stream, 
And perilous grey streets, that teem 
With light feet wandering unaware. 

And winter nights with lamps agleam, 
Globed golden in the violet air ; 

Odd nightmare carven things, that stare 
Spell-stricken in a voiceless scream ; 

The worn steps of an ancient stair, 
With oaken balustrade and beam — 
Such things are weightier than they seem : 

These marks my branded soul must bear. 
Pledges that Time cannot redeem. 

And yet God knows if I shall care ! 



1SEULT, Iseult ! day follows day 
With weary feet ; the bitter spray 
Flies fitfully over the waterway. 

The gulFs harsh crying 
Is cruel as death. O far away 
Are the years when we made holiday ; 
My hair and beard show very grey 
In the bed where I am lying. 
55 



Lay 



" All the wonderful songs of May, 
Roundel, madrigal, virelay, 
I cannot remember them now to play, 

For yesternight I was trying 
To bring them back, but the harp-strings fray, 
And I only know that the songs were gay." 
Thus and thus did Sir Tristram say 

In the hour that he was dying. 



XL 

THEY say the waters cannot drown 
Love. I believe it. Set this down : 
That I believed and uttered thus. 
Whatever things the years discrown. 
Somehow, love, I would have it known 

My youth was not ungenerous, 
And I could kneel to kiss thy gown, 
As every honest lover does. 

For when beneath the winter's frown 
Forth to the forest goes the clown. 

Whistling, when winds are blusterous. 
To gather kindling for the town, 
Tliere on his faggots sere and brown 

A few dry leaves hang dolorous 
In witness of the spring's renown — 

And it is even so with us. 



XIL 

, EVEN I, 

Have loved in joy and dread. 
Now my spinning-wheel I ply 
Like the peasant-girl, that wed 
56 



Lay 



With a king (they say), and try 
With hands and heart of lead 
To spin out a golden thread 

From the dusty straws and dry. 

I will not weep nor cry 

For work unperfected, 
Still labouring faithfully 

I have no tears to shed. 
For love goes harping high, 

And is remembered, 

Mummers ! when you are sped 
With all the lips that lie. 



57 



ERIC EARNSHAW SMITH 

(UNIVERSITY) 



SISTERS 

You had not heard the clang of life, it seems, 
In those dim shadows of backwater days, 
Save in the weary barrenness of dreams 
A vision of burning heights and dancing ways. 

And so one day you dared ; and down the stair 
Crept trembling — through the door— into the street 

And oh ! to find your little soul laid bare, 
And cast it thrilling at the city's feet. 

So you have loved and you have lived, it seems ; 

And they are silent now — forgotten days 
Save in the agony of sleepless dreams, 

Forgotten heights, how cold, and shadowy ways. 

But in the grave I think you smile to hear 
Your myriad sisters pass, their hungry eyes 

Dark with the torment of a restless fear, 

Long-buried hopes and wan-faced memories. 

Death holds you in his arms : your bitter quest 
Has given you sleep at last : you could but die : 

These are your sisters, envying your rest, 
And one by one they join you where you lie. 



58 



GODSTOW 

APRIL sent foolish blood about our hearts, 
Waking old madness : we had planned high tea 
Under the sun at Godstow — it would be 
Like an old April . . . and so we played our parts. 

There was a froth of hawthorn, and you said 
How love was very son of Truth begotten, 
Undying, unchangeable . . . and I'd forgotten 

All save the pulses drumming in my head. 

Twilight comes cool in April. You were thinking 
" Not yet the end, not yet the end !" I thought 
" Dear fools ! Since when have we two grown so old 
That we are blind how love is fallen to nought, 

And there's but lust in kisses ?" We went on drinking 

While the stream laughed and chattered — and tea was cold. 



59 



G. B. SMITH 

(CORPUS CHRISTI) 



SONGS ON THE DOWNS 



THIS is the road the Romans made, 
This track half lost in the green hills, 
Or fading in a forest-glade 
'Mid violets and daffodils. 

The years have fallen like dead leaves, 
Unwept, uncounted, and unstayed 

(Such as the autumn tempest thieves), 
Since first this road the Romans made. 



A miser lives within this house, 

His patron saint's the gnawing mouse. 

And there's no peace upon his brows. 

A many ancient trees and thin 

Do fold the place their shade within, 

And moan, as for remembered sin. 



60 



HASAN SHAH ID SUHRAWARDY 
(NON-COLL.) 



NARCISSE— MALLARMEEN 



Y 



OUR eyes to me are moonlit seas, 
where rove my sea-gull dreams like souls, 
where coral roses keep their tryst 
with large translucent bees, 
where sea-weeds kept in amber bowls 
whisper like eager girls, 
where leaves of lily-pearls 
wander amongst cold gleaming eyes, 
and where the dream-entranced skies 
tremble, grape-coloured, starlight-kist. 
But in your inmost eye I see a boy, 
a wondrous fair-limbed flower-bodied boy, 
gazing into an amethyst. 



6i 



GHINOISERIE : SAMAINESQUE 

THE Spring is come, Beloved, we shall float 
White lotus lamps upon the shimmering stream. 
And watch the sunset's passion waste and fade. 
An amber dream. 

I'll weave thee jasmine garlands for thy throat. 
Enmesh bold poppies in thy stormy hair, 
And heap thy lap with tender blossom snowed 
By the tall pear. 

But oh to-night, Beloved, play thy lute. 
And lean thy cheek to mine and softly sing 
A fragile princess in her springtime dead, 
And a lone king. . . . 

Love, through thy iinger-lattices I see 
Full of desire thy passionate longing eyes, 
And lo ! the moon like an impetuous flower 
Bursts in the skies. 



6t 



E. GRAHAM SUTTON 

{QUEEN'S) 



H 



EPITAPH 

ERE lies a fool for whom no tears are shed, 

Here lies a fool one woman would have wed. 
My glory and my shame go hand and hand, 
So shall my soul in hell be comforted. 



63 



/. R. R. TOLKIEN 
(EXETER) 



GOBLIN FEET 

I AM off down the road 
Where the fairy lanterns glowed 
And the little pretty flittermice are flying : 

A slender band of grey 

It runs crcepily away 
And the hedges and the grasses are a-sighing. 

The air is full of wings, 

And of blundering beetle- things 
That warn you with their whirring and their humming. 

O ! I hear the tiny horns 

Of enchanted leprechauns 
And the padding feet of many gnomes a-coming ! 

O ! the lights : O ! the gleams : O ! the little tinkly sound> 

O ! the rustle of their noiseless little robes : 
O ! the echo of their feet — of their little happy feet : 

! their swinging lamps in little starlit globes. 

1 must follow in their train 
Down the crooked fairy lane 

Where the coney-rabbits long ago have gone, 

And where silverly they sing 

In a moving moonlit ring 
All a-twinkle with the jewels they have on. 

They are fading round the turn 

Where tlie glow-worms palel}' burn 
64 



Goblin Feet 

And tlie echo of^their padding feet is dying ! 

O ! it's knocking at my heart — 

Let me go ! <vO ! let mc start ! 
For ttie little magic hours are all a-tlying. 

O ! the warmth ! O^! the hum ! O ! the colours in the dark ! 

O ! the gauzy wings of golden honey-flies ! 
O ! the music of their feet — of their dancing goblin feet ! 

O ! the magic ! O ! the sorrow when it dies. 



^^5 



SHERARD VINES 

{A'EIV COLLEGE) 



THE LOVER MADE LIGHT BY 
CIRCUMSTANCE 

WHO may have seen the trees grow tall, 
Or watched what gait imperial 
The lord the sun from hour to hour, 
From throne to throne by his blue hall 
Makes, and have known his stride get slower. 
Such might a patient lover be 
Whose love runs deeper than the sea. 

But I ? How can I contemplate 
Patientl}'^, with good will to wait 
Some slow maturing of desire ? 
Love meets me suddenly, and straight 
Scarce knowing, all my bones run fire ! 
Fire blooms within me and without : 
To-morrow I am sent about. 

I take to-morrow's crooked road, 
My heart a wound, my fate a goad, 
Who may not sleep more nights than one 
To build foundations deep and broad, 
And do as true lovers have done. 
And give my handicraft my love, 
Nor may love's habit find a groove. 
66 



The Lover Made Light 
by Circumstance 



On whom tlic dust falls white, because 
A clay's march carries whence he was 
More happy than to Iiope his day 
Will bud and blossom ere it pass. 
And God's hands hurry him away, 
Men may call " light lover," nor see 
Fit ground for his apolog}'. 



67 



MODERN BEAUTY 

TH E month of May is over, 
The green is crushed with red, 
But God has raised the clover 
To hide his quiet dead. 

Look not upon these temples 
Of cloud hewed by the wind : 

Rather these weary waggons 
And dust flung up behind. 

Our windows gape with blackness, 
Our linen sheets are soiled ; 

All sorry are our women, 
For each of them is spoiled. ! 

Rather the broken body 

Than body full of light, 
Rather the skeleton of a house' 

Where none lie down at night 



68 



ON TIRING OF A CERTAIN SUBJECT 

DAMN sex ! Let us drink of this raw purple wine — 
If it blisters your throat, that is no fault of mine ; 
We'll talk of all good things that met us together, 
From the shape of a spire to our good sailing weather. 

Let's wrangle no more about woman and man 
While bread's on the table and wine's in the can, 
The sun to south-west, and a wind coming over. 
Sweet seasoned with quickset and beans and red clover. 

Rare towns we may mention, the little and old, 
With pavements of cobble, innkeepers of gold, 
Where, turning the corner by Jubilee clock. 
We ran into Dusk in a comely blue frock. 

Of the slant of the West with its head in a cloud, 
And streams fed by sea wind, brown, lust}' and loud, 
Of the road by the cliff and the road down the combe. 
The highroad abroad, and the level road home. 

Why, here's to 'em all ; and of each road a story. 
The halt and the meeting, and end of day glory, 
When at ease in a garden, some cottage beside, 
Our pipe fire glowed up, and their heaven fire died. 

Here's days full of work seven times worth the doing, 
Plain food for plain men, and for strong men strong brewing, 
Here's all that does good to our sinew and mettle ; 
And for God's sake leave Sex to some others to settle ! 



69 



H. T. WADE-GERY 
(WADHAM AND NEW COLLEGE) 



TO MASTER ROBERT HERRIGK 
UPON HIS DEATH 

SWEET Robin Herrick, friend 
Who Death himself could fend 
With song, until the end 

When Death, poor dunderliead, 
Grew tired of play, and said 
You must be off to bed. 

So sent you to your sleep, 
So deep, so endless deep — 
Why, if a child will weep 

Who's kist and sent away, 
(Yet night itself' s half-play 
And promise of next day) — 

What Good-Night's yours, alone 
To depths of silence gone 
And heard and seen of iK)ne ? 



70 



THE GRASS IS GOLD AND WET, THE 
DEW IS SET 



TH E grass is cold and wet, the dew is set 
Where we together lie. 
But love will keep us warm ; we'll take no harm, 

Beloved, you and I. 
The moon shall shine slantwise upon my eyes 

While it shines full on yours, 
And I shall see them clear, which are more dear 
Than all that night obscures. 

Put out 3^our hand, and see, how cold they be, 

The dewdrops on the ground. 
Drenching the grass : breathe full, how sweet and cool 

The vasty night around I 



71 



HARK, HOW THE BIRDS DO SING 
AT EVENING 



HARK, how the birds do sing at evening ; 
This doth the air possess. 
Oh, this the quiet air doth wash from care, 
Dotli fill with loveliness. 

To me now better this than any kiss, 

Than any loved voice — 
Better than any speecli, when eacli with each 

Sweet lovers do rejoice. 

Better to stand and see how goldenly 
All light and sound do end — 

O Love, what hast thou done beneath the sun ? 
What have we done, sweet friend ? 



BILLING AND SONS, LTU., FRINTERS, GUILUFORD, BNULANO 



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PN 

6110 

C7 

072 

1915 



Oxford poetry 



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