The Project Gutenberg eBook of Green Bays. Verses and Parodies

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Title: Green Bays. Verses and Parodies

Author: Arthur Quiller-Couch

Release date: October 18, 2005 [eBook #16898]
Most recently updated: December 12, 2020

Language: English


Produced by Lionel Sear




Most of the verses in this volume were written at Oxford, and first appeared in the 'Oxford Magazine.' A few are reprinted from 'The Speaker' and a few from certain works of fiction published by Messrs. Cassell and Co.












     Senex. Saye, cushat, callynge from the brake,
               What ayles thee soe to pyne?
             Thy carefulle heart shall cease to ake
                 When dayes be fyne
                 And greene thynges twyne:
               Saye, cushat, what thy griefe to myne?

    Turtur. Naye, gossyp, loyterynge soe late,
               What ayles thee thus to chyde?
             My love is fled by garden-gate;
                 Since Lammas-tyde
                 I wayte my bryde.
               Saye, gossyp, whom dost thou abyde?

     Senex. Loe! I am he, the 'Lonelie Manne,'
               Of Time forgotten quite,
             That no remembered face may scanne—
                 Sadde eremyte,
                 I wayte tonyghte
               Pale Death, nor any other wyghte.

             O cushat, cushat, callynge lowe,
               Goe waken Time from sleepe:
             Goe whysper in his ear, that soe
                 His besom sweepe
                 Me to that heape
               Where all my recollections keepe.

             Hath he forgott? Or did I viewe
               A ghostlye companye
             This even, by the dismalle yewe,
                 Of faces three
                 That beckoned mee
               To land where no repynynges bee?

             O Harrye, Harrye, Tom and Dicke,
               Each lost companion!
             Why loyter I among the quicke,
                 When ye are gonne?
                 Shalle I alone
               Delayinge crye 'Anon, Anon'?

             Naye, let the spyder have my gowne,
               To brayde therein her veste.
             My cappe shal serve, now I 'goe downe,'
                 For mouse's neste.
                 Loe! this is best.
               I care not, soe I gayne my reste.


     Not on the neck of prince or hound,
       Nor on a woman's finger twin'd,
     May gold from the deriding ground
       Keep sacred that we sacred bind:
                Only the heel
                Of splendid steel
       Shall stand secure on sliding fate,
       When golden navies weep their freight.

     The scarlet hat, the laurell'd stave
        Are measures, not the springs, of worth;
     In a wife's lap, as in a grave,
        Man's airy notions mix with earth.
                Seek other spur
                Bravely to stir
        The dust in this loud world, and tread
        Alp-high among the whisp'ring dead.

     Trust in thyself,—then spur amain:
        So shall Charybdis wear a grace,
      Grim Aetna laugh, the Libyan plain
        Take roses to her shrivell'd face.
                 This orb—this round
                 Of sight and sound—
        Count it the lists that God hath built
        For haughty hearts to ride a-tilt.


    If a leaf rustled, she would start:
       And yet she died, a year ago.
     How had so frail a thing the heart
       To journey where she trembled so?
     And do they turn and turn in fright,
       Those little feet, in so much night?

     The light above the poet's head
       Streamed on the page and on the cloth,
     And twice and thrice there buffeted
       On the black pane a white-wing'd moth;
    'Twas Annie's soul that beat outside
       And 'Open, open, open!' cried:

    'I could not find the way to God;
       There were too many flaming suns
     For signposts, and the fearful road
       Led over wastes where millions
     Of tangled comets hissed and burned—
       I was bewilder'd and I turned.

    'O, it was easy then! I knew
       Your window and no star beside.
     Look up, and take me back to you!'
       —He rose and thrust the window wide.
    'Twas but because his brain was hot
       With rhyming; for he heard her not.

     But poets polishing a phrase
       Show anger over trivial things;
     And as she blundered in the blaze
       Towards him, on ecstatic wings,
     He raised a hand and smote her dead;
       Then wrote 'That I had died instead!'



TIM THE DRAGOON (From 'Troy Town')

     Be aisy an' list to a chune
     That's sung of bowld Tim the Dragoon—
             Sure, 'twas he'd niver miss
             To be stalin' a kiss,
     Or a brace, by the light of the moon—
     Wid a wink at the Man in the Moon!

     Rest his sowl where the daisies grow thick;
     For he's gone from the land of the quick:
             But he's still makin' love
             To the leddies above,
     An' be jabbers! he'll tache 'em the thrick—
     Niver doubt but he'll tache 'em the thrick!

    'Tis by Tim the dear saints'll set sthore,
     And 'ull thrate him to whisky galore:
             For they 've only to sip
             But the tip of his lip
     An' bedad! they'll be askin' for more—
     By the powers, they'll be shoutin' 'Ancore!'




    'Tis pretty to be in Ballinderry,
      'Tis pretty to be in Ballindoon,
     But 'tis prettier far in County Kerry
       Coortin' under the bran' new moon,
                               Aroon, Aroon!

    'Twas there by the bosom of blue Killarney
       They came by the hundther' a-coortin' me;
     Sure I was the one to give back their blarney,
       An' merry was I to be fancy-free.

     But niver a step in the lot was lighter,
       An' divvle a boulder among the bhoys,
     Than Phelim O'Shea, me dynamither,
       Me illigant arthist in clock-work toys.

    'Twas all for love he would bring his figgers
       Of iminent statesmen, in toy machines,
     An' hould me hand as he pulled the thriggers
       An' scattered the thraytors to smithereens.

     An' to see the Queen in her Crystial Pallus
       Fly up to the roof, an' the windeys broke!
     And all with divvle a trace of malus,—
       But he was the bhoy that enjoyed his joke!

     Then O, but his cheek would flush, an' 'Bridget,'
       He 'd say, 'Will yez love me?' But I 'd be coy
     And answer him, 'Arrah now, dear, don't fidget!'
       Though at heart I loved him, me arthist bhoy!

     One night we stood by the Kenmare river,
       An' 'Bridget, creina, now whist,' said he,
    'I'll be goin' to-night, an' may be for iver;
       Open your arms at the last to me.'

    'Twas there by the banks of the Kenmare river
       He took in his hands me white, white face,
     An' we kissed our first an' our last for iver—
       For Phelim O'Shea is disparsed in space.

    'Twas pretty to be by blue Killarney,
      'Twas pretty to hear the linnets's call,
     But whist! for I cannot attind their blarney,
       Nor whistle in answer at all, at all.

     For the voice that he swore 'ud out-call the linnet's
       Is cracked intoirely, and out of chune,
     Since the clock-work missed it by thirteen minutes
       An' scattered me Phelim around the moon,
                               Aroon, Aroon!



     Down the green hill-side fro' the castle window
     Lady Jane spied Bill Amaranth a-workin';
     Day by day watched him go about his ample
                           Nursery garden.

     Cabbages thriv'd there, wi' a mort o' green-stuff—
     Kidney beans, broad beans, onions, tomatoes,
     Artichokes, seakale, vegetable marrows,
                           Early potatoes.

     Lady Jane cared not very much for all these:
     What she cared much for was a glimpse o' Willum
     Strippin' his brown arms wi' a view to horti-
                          -Cultural effort.

     Little guessed Willum, never extra-vain, that
     Up the green hill-side, i' the gloomy castle,
     Feminine eyes could so delight to view his
                           Noble proportions.

     Only one day while, in an innocent mood,
     Moppin' his brow ('cos 'twas a trifle sweaty)
     With a blue kerchief—lo, he spies a white 'un
                           Coyly responding.

     Oh, delightsome Love! Not a jot do you care
     For the restrictions set on human inter-
    -course by cold-blooded social refiners;
                           Nor do I, neither.

     Day by day, peepin' fro' behind the bean-sticks,
     Willum observed that scrap o' white a-wavin',
     Till his hot sighs out-growin' all repression
                           Busted his weskit.

     Lady Jane's guardian was a haughty Peer, who
     Clung to old creeds and had a nasty temper;
     Can we blame Willum that he hardly cared to
                           Risk a refusal?

     Year by year found him busy 'mid the bean-sticks,
     Wholly uncertain how on earth to take steps.
     Thus for eighteen years he beheld the maiden
                           Wave fro' her window.

     But the nineteenth spring, i' the Castle post-bag,
     Came by book-post Bill's catalogue o' seedlings
     Mark'd wi' blue ink at 'Paragraphs relatin'
                           Mainly to Pumpkins.'

    'W. A. can,' so the Lady Jane read,
    'Strongly commend that very noble Gourd, the
    Lady Jane, first-class medal, ornamental;
                           Grows to a great height.'

     Scarce a year arter, by the scented hedgerows—
     Down the mown hill-side, fro' the castle gateway—
     Came a long train and, i' the midst, a black bier,
                           Easily shouldered.

    'Whose is yon corse that, thus adorned wi' gourd-leaves,
     Forth ye bear with slow step?' A mourner answer'd,
    ''Tis the poor clay-cold body Lady Jane grew
                           Tired to abide in.'

    'Delve my grave quick, then, for I die to-morrow.
     Delve it one furlong fro' the kidney bean-sticks,
     Where I may dream she's goin' on precisely
                           As she was used to.'

     Hardly died Bill when, fro' the Lady Jane's grave,
     Crept to his white death-bed a lovely pumpkin:
     Climb'd the house wall and over-arched his head wi'
                           Billowy verdure.

     Simple this tale!—but delicately perfumed
     As the sweet roadside honeysuckle. That's why,
     Difficult though its metre was to tackle,
                           I'm glad I wrote it.


To commemorate the virtue of Homoeopathy in restoring one apparently drowned.

     Love, that in a tear was drown'd,
     Lives revived by a tear.
     Stella heard them mourn around
     Love that in a tear was drown'd,
     Came and coax'd his dripping swound,
     Wept 'The fault was mine, my dear!'
     Love, that in a tear was drown'd,
     Lives, revived by a tear.


(From 'Troy Town'.)

     A month ago Lysander pray'd
       To Jove, to Cupid, and to Venus,
     That he might die if he betray'd
       A single vow that pass'd between us.

     Ah, careless gods, to hear so ill
       And cheat a maid on you relying!
     For false Lysander's thriving still,
       And 'tis Corinna lies a-dying.


(From 'Troy Town'.)

     When as abroad, to greet the morn,
     I mark my Graciosa walk,
     In homage bends the whisp'ring corn,
             Yet to confess
             Its awkwardness
     Must hang its head upon the stalk.

     And when she talks, her lips do heal
     The wounds her lightest glances give:—
     In pity then be harsh, and deal
             Such wounds that I
             May hourly die,
     And, by a word restored, live.


(From 'Troy Town'.)

     Toiling love, loose your pack,
       All your sighs and tears unbind:
     Care's a ware will break a back,
       Will not bend a maiden's mind.

     In this State a man shall need
       Neither priest nor law giver:
     Those same lips that are his creed
       Shall confess their worshipper.

     All the laws he must obey,
       Now in force and now repeal'd,
     Shift in eyes that shift as they,
       Till alike with kisses seal'd.


By Lord T-n.

     So bluff Sir Leolin gave the bride away:
     And when they married her, the little church
     Had seldom seen a costlier ritual.
     The coach and pair alone were two-pound-ten,
     And two-pound-ten apiece the wedding-cakes;—
     Three wedding-cakes. A Cupid poised a-top
     Of each hung shivering to the frosted loves
     Of two fond cushats on a field of ice,
     As who should say 'I see you!'—Such the joy
     When English-hearted Edwin swore his faith
     With Mariana of the Moated Grange.

     For Edwin, plump head-waiter at The Cock,
     Grown sick of custom, spoilt of plenitude,
     Lacking the finer wit that saith,
    'I wait, They come; and if I make them wait, they go,'
     Fell in a jaundiced humour petulant-green,
     Watched the dull clerk slow-rounding to his cheese,
     Flicked a full dozen flies that flecked the pane—
     All crystal-cheated of the fuller air,
     Blurted a free 'Good-day t'ye,' left and right,
     And shaped his gathering choler to this head:—

    'Custom! And yet what profit of it all?
     The old order changeth yielding place to new,
     To me small change, and this the Counter-change
     Of custom beating on the self-same bar—
     Change out of chop. Ah me! the talk, the tip,
     The would-be-evening should-be-mourning suit,
     The forged solicitude for petty wants
     More petty still than they,—all these I loathe,
     Learning they lie who feign that all things come
     To him that waiteth. I have waited long,
     And now I go, to mate me with a bride
     Who is aweary waiting, even as I!'

     But when the amorous moon of honeycomb
     Was over, ere the matron-flower of Love—
     Step-sister of To-morrow's marmalade—
     Swooned scentless, Mariana found her lord
     Did something jar the nicer feminine sense
     With usage, being all too fine and large,
     Instinct of warmth and colour, with a trick
     Of blunting 'Mariana's' keener edge
     To 'Mary Ann'—the same but not the same:
     Whereat she girded, tore her crisped hair,
     Called him 'Sir Churl,' and ever calling 'Churl!'
     Drave him to Science, then to Alcohol,
     To forge a thousand theories of the rocks,
     Then somewhat else for thousands dewy cool,
     Wherewith he sought a more Pacific isle
     And there found love, a duskier love than hers.


By O—r K—m.

     Wake! for the closed Pavilion doors have kept
     Their silence while the white-eyed Kaffir slept,
       And wailed the Nightingale with 'Jug, jug, jug!'
     Whereat, for empty cup, the White Rose wept.

     Enter with me where yonder door hangs out
     Its Red Triangle to a world of drought,
       Inviting to the Palace of the Djinn,
     Where Death, Aladdin, waits as Chuckerout.

     Methought, last night, that one in suit of woe
     Stood by the Tavern-door and whispered, 'Lo,
       The Pledge departed, what avails the Cup?
     Then take the Pledge and let the Wine-cup go.'

     But I: 'For every thirsty soul that drains
     This Anodyne of Thought its rim contains—
       Free-will the can, Necessity the must,
     Pour off the must, and, see, the can remains.

    'Then, pot or glass, why label it "With Care"?
     Or why your Sheepskin with my Gourd compare?
       Lo! here the Bar and I the only Judge:—
      O, Dog that bit me, I exact an hair!'

     We are the Sum of things, who jot our score
     With Caesar's clay behind the Tavern door:
       And Alexander's armies—where are they,
     But gone to Pot—that Pot you push for more?

     And this same Jug I empty, could it speak,
     Might whisper that itself had been a Beak
       And dealt me Fourteen Days 'without the Op.'—
     Your Worship, see, my lip is on your cheek.

     Yourself condemned to three score years and ten,
     Say, did you judge the ways of other men?
       Why, now, sir, you are hourly filled with wine,
     And has the clay more licence now than then?

     Life is a draught, good sir; its brevity
     Gives you and me our measures, and thereby
       Has docked your virtue to a tankard's span,
     And left of my criterion—a Cri'!


After C. S. C.

     When the hunter-star Orion
      (Or, it may be, Charles his Wain)
     Tempts the tiny elves to try on
       All their little tricks again;
     When the earth is calmly breathing
       Draughts of slumber undefiled,
     And the sire, unused to teething,
       Seeks for errant pins his child;

     When the moon is on the ocean,
       And our little sons and heirs
     From a natural emotion
       Wish the luminary theirs;
     Then a feeling hard to stifle,
       Even harder to define,
     Makes me feel I 'd give a trifle
       For the days of Auld Lang Syne.

     James—for we have been as brothers
      (Are, to speak correctly, twins),
     Went about in one another's
       Clothing, bore each other's sins,
     Rose together, ere the pearly
       Tint of morn had left the heaven,
     And retired (absurdly early)
       Simultaneously at seven—

     James, the days of yore were pleasant.
       Sweet to climb for alien pears
     Till the irritated peasant
       Came and took us unawares;
     Sweet to devastate his chickens,
       As the ambush'd catapult
     Scattered, and the very dickens
       Was the natural result;

     Sweet to snare the thoughtless rabbit;
       Break the next-door neighbour's pane;
     Cultivate the smoker's habit
       On the not-innocuous cane;
     Leave the exercise unwritten;
       Systematically cut
     Morning school, to plunge the kitten
       In his bath, the water-butt.

     Age, my James, that from the cheek of
       Beauty steals its rosy hue,
     Has not left us much to speak of:
       But 'tis not for this I rue.
     Beauty with its thousand graces,
       Hair and tints that will not fade,
     You may get from many places
       Practically ready-made.

     No; it is the evanescence
       Of those lovelier tints of Hope—
     Bubbles, such as adolescence
       Joys to win from melted soap—
     Emphasizing the conclusion
       That the dreams of Youth remain
     Castles that are An delusion
      (Castles, that's to say, in Spain).

     Age thinks 'fit,' and I say 'fiat.'
       Here I stand for Fortune's butt,
     As for Sunday swains to shy at
       Stands the stoic coco-nut.
     If you wish it put succinctly,
       Gone are all our little games;
     But I thought I 'd say distinctly
       What I feel about it, James.


     In youth I dreamed, as other youths have dreamt,
       Of love, and thrummed an amateur guitar
     To verses of my own,—a stout attempt
       To hold communion with the Evening Star
     I wrote a sonnet, rhymed it, made it scan.
     Ah me! how trippingly those last lines ran.—

     O Hesperus! O happy star! to bend
       O'er Helen's bosom in the tranced west,
     To match the hours heave by upon her breast,
       And at her parted lip for dreams attend—
     If dawn defraud thee, how shall I be deemed,
     Who house within that bosom, and am dreamed?

     For weeks I thought these lines remarkable;
       For weeks I put on airs and called myself
     A bard: till on a day, as it befell,
       I took a small green Moxon from the shelf
     At random, opened at a casual place,
     And found my young illusions face to face

     With this:—'Still steadfast, still unchangeable,
       Pillow'd upon my fair Love's ripening breast
     To feel for ever its soft fall and swell,
       Awake for ever in a sweet unrest;
     Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
     And so live ever,—or else swoon to death.

     O gulf not to be crossed by taking thought!
       O heights by toil not to be overcome!
     Great Keats, unto your altar straight I brought
       My speech, and from the shrine departed dumb.
   —And yet sometimes I think you played it hard
     Upon a rather hopeful minor bard.



By W—ll—m C—wp—r.

    'Tis evening. See with its resorting throng
     Rude Carfax teems, and waistcoats, visited
     With too-familiar elbow, swell the curse
     Vortiginous. The boating man returns,
     His rawness growing with experience—
     Strange union! and directs the optic glass
     Not unresponsive to Jemima's charms,
     Who wheels obdurate, in his mimic chaise
     Perambulant, the child. The gouty cit,
     Asthmatical, with elevated cane
     Pursues the unregarding tram, as one
     Who, having heard a hurdy-gurdy, girds
     His loins and hunts the hurdy-gurdy-man,
     Blaspheming. Now the clangorous bell proclaims
     The Times or Chronicle, and Rauca screams
     The latest horrid murder in the ear
     Of nervous dons expectant of the urn
     And mild domestic muffin.
                               To the Parks
     Drags the slow Ladies' School, consuming time
     In passing given points. Here glow the lamps,
     And tea-spoons clatter to the cosy hum
     Of scientific circles. Here resounds
     The football-field with its discordant train,
     The crowd that cheers but not discriminates,
     As ever into touch the ball returns
     And shrieks the whistle, while the game proceeds
     With fine irregularity well worth
     The paltry shilling.—
                             Draw the curtains close
     While I resume the night-cap dear to all
     Familiar with my illustrated works.


By E. A. P.

     In the sad and sodden street,
        To and fro,
     Flit the fever-stricken feet
     Of the freshers as they meet,
        Come and go,
     Ever buying, buying, buying
     Where the shopmen stand supplying,
        Vying, vying
        All they know,
     While the Autumn lies a-dying
        Sad and low
     As the price of summer suitings when the winter breezes blow,
     Of the summer, summer suitings that are standing in a row
        On the way to Jericho.

     See the freshers as they row
        To and fro,
     Up and down the Lower River for an afternoon or so—
       (For the deft manipulation
        Of the never-resting oar,
        Though it lead to approbation,
        Will induce excoriation)—
        They are infinitely sore,
         Keeping time, time, time
         In a sort of Runic rhyme
     Up and down the way to Iffley in an afternoon or so;
       (Which is slow).
        Do they blow?
       'Tis the wind and nothing more,
       'Tis the wind that in Vacation has a tendency to go:
        But the coach's objurgation and his tendency to 'score'
         Will be sated—nevermore.

     See the freshers in the street,
        The elite!
     Their apparel how unquestionably neat!
     How delighted at a distance,
        Inexpensively attired,
     I have wondered with persistence
     At their butterfly existence!
        How admired!
     And the payment—O, the payment!
     It is tardy for the raiment:
     Yet the haberdasher gloats as he sells,
        And he tells,
       'This is best
        To be dress'd
     Rather better than the rest,
     To be noticeably drest,
        To be swells,
      To be swells, swells, swells, swells,
      Swells, swells, swells,
     To be simply and indisputably swells.'

     See the freshers one or two,
        Just a few,
        Now on view,
     Who are sensibly and innocently new;
     How they cluster, cluster, cluster
     Round the rugged walls of Worcester!
        See them stand,
        Book in hand,
     In the garden ground of John's!
     How they dote upon their Dons!
        See in every man a Blue!
        It is true
     They are lamentably few;
        But I spied
     Yesternight upon the staircase just a pair of boots outside
        Upon the floor,
     Just a little pair of boots upon the stairs where I reside,
        Lying there and nothing more;
        And I swore
     While these dainty twins continued sentry by the chamber door
     That the hope their presence planted should be with me evermore,
        Should desert me—nevermore.


     O waly, waly, my bonnie crew
        Gin ye maun bumpit be!
     And waly, waly, my Stroke sae true,
        Ye leuk unpleasauntlie!

     O hae ye suppit the sad sherrie
        That gars the wind gae soon;
     Or hae ye pud o' the braw bird's-e'e,
        Ye be sae stricken doun?

     I hae na suppit the sad sherrie,
        For a' my heart is sair;
     For Keiller's still i' the bonnie Dundee,
        And his is halesome fare.

     But I hae slain our gude Captain,
        That c'uld baith shout and sweer,
     And ither twain put out o' pain—
        The Scribe and Treasurere.

     There's ane lies stark by the meadow-gate,
        And twa by the black, black brig:
     And waefu', waefu', was the fate
        That gar'd them there to lig!

     They waked us soon, they warked us lang,
        Wearily did we greet;
   'Should he abrade' was a' our sang,
        Our food but butcher's-meat.

     We hadna train'd but ower a week,
        A week, but barely twa,
     Three sonsie steeds they fared to seek,
        That mightna gar them fa'.

     They 've ta'en us ower the lang, lang coorse,
        And wow! but it was wark;
     And ilka coach he sware him hoorse,
        That ilka man s'uld hark.

     Then upped and spake our pawkie bow,
        —O, but he wasna late!
    'Now who shall gar them cry Enow,
        That gang this fearsome gate?'

     Syne he has ta'en his boatin' cap,
        And cast the keevils in,
     And wha but me to gae (God hap!)
        And stay our Captain's din?

     I stayed his din by the meadow-gate,
        His feres' by Nuneham brig,
     And waefu', waefu', was the fate
        That gar'd them there to lig!

     O, waly to the welkin's top!
        And waly round the braes!
     And waly all about the shop
       (To use a Southron phrase).

     Rede ither crews be debonair,
        But we 've a weird to dree,
     I wis we maun be bumpit sair
        By boaties two and three:
     Sing stretchers of yew for our Toggere,
        Sith we maun bumpit be!


     Adown the torturing mile of street
        I mark him come and go,
     Thread in and out with tireless feet
        The crossings to and fro;
     A soul that treads without retreat
        A labyrinth of woe.

     Palsied with awe of such despair,
        All living things give room,
     They flit before his sightless glare
        As horrid shapes, that loom
     And shriek the curse that bids him bear
        The symbol of his doom.

     The very stones are coals that bake
        And scorch his fevered skin;
     A fire no hissing hail may slake
        Consumes his heart within.
     Still must he hasten on to rake
        The furnace of his sin.

     Still forward! forward! For he feels
        Fierce claws that pluck his breast,
     And blindly beckon as he reels
        Upon his awful quest:
     For there is that behind his heels
        Knows neither ruth nor rest.

     The fiends in hell have flung the dice;
        The destinies depend
     On feet that run for fearful price,
        And fangs that gape to rend;
     And still the footsteps of his Vice
        Pursue him to the end:—
     The feet of his incarnate Vice
        Shall dog him to the end.


By W. W.

     Behold! I am not one that goes to Lectures or the pow-wow of

The elementary laws never apologise: neither do I apologise.

     I find letters from the Dean dropt on my table—and every one is
        signed by the Dean's name—

     And I leave them where they are; for I know that as long as I
        stay up

Others will punctually come for ever and ever.

I am one who goes to the river,

I sit in the boat and think of 'life' and of 'time.'

How life is much, but time is more; and the beginning is everything,

But the end is something.

I loll in the Parks, I go to the wicket, I swipe.

I see twenty-two young men from Foster's watching me, and the trousers of the twenty-two young men,

I see the Balliol men en masse watching me.—The Hottentot that loves his mother, the untutored Bedowee, the Cave-man that wears only his certificate of baptism, and the shaggy Sioux that hangs his testamur with his scalps.

     I see the Don who ploughed me in Rudiments watching me: and the
        wife of the Don who ploughed me in Rudiments watching me.

     I see the rapport of the wicket-keeper and umpire. I cannot see
        that I am out.

Oh! you Umpires!

I am not one who greatly cares for experience, soap, bull-dogs, cautions, majorities, or a graduated Income-Tax,

The certainty of space, punctuation, sexes, institutions, copiousness, degrees, committees, delicatesse, or the fetters of rhyme—

For none of these do I care: but least for the fetters of rhyme.

Myself only I sing. Me Imperturbe! Me Prononce!

Me progressive and the depth of me progressive,

And the bathos, Anglice bathos

Of me chanting to the Public the song of Simple Enumeration.



     Rudiments, Rudiments, and Rudiments!
    'Thinketh one made them i' the fit o' the blues.

    'Thinketh one made them with the 'tips' to match,
     But not the answers; 'doubteth there be none,
     Only Guides, Helps, Analyses, such as that:
     Also this Beast, that groweth sleek thereon,
     And snow-white bands that round the neck o' the same.

    'Thinketh, it came of being ill at ease.
    'Hath heard that Satan finds some mischief still
     For idle hands, and the rest o 't. That's the case.
     Also 'hath heard they pop the names i' the hat,
     Toss out a brace, a dozen stick inside;
     Let forty through and plough the sorry rest.

    'Thinketh, such shows nor right nor wrong in them,
     Only their strength, being made o' sloth i' the main—
    'Am strong myself compared to yonder names
     O' Jewish towns i' the paper. Watch th' event—
    'Let twenty pass, 'have a shot at twenty-first,
    'Miss Ramoth-Gilead, 'take Jehoiakim,
    'Let Abner by and spot Melchizedek,
     Knowing not, caring not, just choosing so,
     As it likes me each time, I do: so they.

    'Saith they be terrible: watch their feats i' the Viva!
     One question plays the deuce with six months' toil.
     Aha, if they would tell me! No, not they!
     There is the sport: 'come read me right or die!'
     All at their mercy,—why they like it most
     When—when—well, never try the same shot twice!
    'Hath fled himself and only got up a tree.

'Will say a plain word if he gets a plough.

[1] Caliban museth of the now extinct Examination in the Rudiments of Faith and Religion.


     My Juggins, see: the pasture green,
        Obeying Nature's kindly law,
     Renews its mantle; there has been
            A thaw.

     The frost-bound earth is free at last,
        That lay 'neath Winter's sullen yoke
    'Till people felt it getting past
            A joke.

     Now forth again the Freshers fare,
        And get them tasty summer suits
     Wherein they flaunt afield and scare
            The brutes.

     Again the stream suspects the keel;
        Again the shrieking captain drops
     Upon his crew; again the meal
            Of chops

     Divides the too-laborious day;
        Again the Student sighs o'er Mods,
     And prompts his enemies to lay
            Long odds.

     Again the shopman spreads his wiles;
        Again the organ-pipes, unbound,
     Distract the populace for miles

     Then, Juggins, ere December's touch
        Once more the wealth of Spring reclaim,
     Since each successive year is much
            The same;

     Since too the monarch on his throne
        In purple lapped and frankincense,
     Who from his infancy has blown

     No less than he who barely gets
        The boon of out-of-door relief,
     Must see desuetude,—come let's
            Be brief.

     At those resolves last New Year's Day
        The easy gods indulgent wink.
     Then downward, ho!—the shortest way
            Is drink.


Addressed during the Summer Term of 1888 by Mr. Algernon Dexter,
Scholar of ——— College, Oxford, to his cousin, Miss Kitty
Tremayne, at ——— Vicarage, Devonshire.

After W. M. P.

     Dear Kitty,
          At length the term's ending;
        I 'm in for my Schools in a week;
     And the time that at present I'm spending
        On you should be spent upon Greek:
     But I'm fairly well read in my Plato,
        I'm thoroughly red in the eyes,
     And I've almost forgotten the way to
        Be healthy and wealthy and wise.
     So 'the best of all ways'—why repeat you
        The verse at 2.30 a.m.,
     When I 'm stealing an hour to entreat you
        Dear Kitty, to come to Commem.?

     Oh, come! You shall rustle in satin
        Through halls where Examiners trod:
     Your laughter shall triumph o'er Latin
        In lecture-room, garden, and quad.
     They stand in the silent Sheldonian—
        Our orators, waiting—for you,
     Their style guaranteed Ciceronian,
        Their subject—'the Ladies in Blue.'
     The Vice sits arrayed in his scarlet;
        He's pale, but they say he dissem-
     -bles by calling his Beadle a 'varlet'
        Whenever he thinks of Commem.

     There are dances, flirtations at Nuneham,
        Flower-shows, the procession of Eights:
     There's a list stretching usque ad Lunam
        Of concerts, and lunches, and fetes:
     There's the Newdigate all about 'Gordon,'
        —So sweet, and they say it will scan.
     You shall flirt with a Proctor, a Warden
        Shall run for your shawl and your fan.
     They are sportive as gods broken loose from
        Olympus, and yet very em-
     -inent men. There are plenty to choose from,
        You'll find, if you come to Commem.

     I know your excuses: Red Sorrel
        Has stumbled and broken her knees;
     Aunt Phoebe thinks waltzing immoral;
        And 'Algy, you are such a tease;
     It's nonsense, of course, but she is strict';
        And little Dick Hodge has the croup;
     And there's no one to visit your 'district'
        Or make Mother Tettleby's soup.
     Let them cease for a se'nnight to plague you;
        Oh, leave them to manage pro tem.
     With their croups and their soups and their ague)
        Dear Kitty, and come to Commem.

     Don't tell me Papa has lumbago,
        That you haven't a frock fit to wear,
     That the curate 'has notions, and may go
        To lengths if there's nobody there,'
     That the Squire has 'said things' to the Vicar,
        And the Vicar 'had words' with the Squire,
     That the Organist's taken to liquor,
        And leaves you to manage the choir:
     For Papa must be cured, and the curate
        Coerced, and your gown is a gem;
     And the moral is—Don't be obdurate,
        Dear Kitty, but come to Commem.

     'My gown? Though, no doubt, sir, you're clever,
        You 'd better leave fashions alone.
     Do you think that a frock lasts for ever?'
        Dear Kitty, I'll grant you have grown;
     But I thought of my 'scene' with McVittie
        That night when he trod on your train
     At the Bachelor's Ball. ''Twas a pity,'
        You said, but I knew 'twas Champagne.
     And your gown was enough to compel me
        To fall down and worship its hem—
     (Are 'hems' wearing? If not, you shall tell me
        What is, when you come to Commem.)

     Have you thought, since that night, of the Grotto?
        Of the words whispered under the palms,
     While the minutes flew by and forgot to
        Remind us of Aunt and her qualms?
     Of the stains of the old Journalisten?
        Of the rose that I begged from your hair?
     When you turned, and I saw something glisten—
        Dear Kitty, don't frown; it was there!
     But that idiot Delane in the middle
        Bounced in with 'Our dance, I—ahem!'
     And—the rose you may find in my Liddell
        And Scott when you come to Commem.

     Then, Kitty, let 'yes' be the answer.
        We'll dance at the 'Varsity Ball,
     And the morning shall find you a dancer
        In Christ Church or Trinity hall.
     And perhaps, when the elders are yawning
        And rafters grow pale overhead
     With the day, there shall come with its dawning
        Some thought of that sentence unsaid.
     Be it this, be it that—'I forget,' or
        'Was joking'—whatever the fem-
     -inine fib, you'll have made me your debtor
        And come,—you will come? to Commem.



Designed to show that the practice of lying is not confined to children.

By the late W. W. (of H.M. Inland Revenue Service).

     And is it so? Can Folly stalk
     And aim her unrespecting darts
     In shades where grave Professors walk
        And Bachelors of Arts?

     I have a boy, not six years old,
     A sprite of birth and lineage high:
     His birth I did myself behold,
        His caste is in his eye.

     And oh! his limbs are full of grace,
     His boyish beauty past compare:
     His mother's joy to wash his face,
        And mine to brush his hair!

     One morn we strolled on our short walk,
     With four goloshes on our shoes,
     And held the customary talk
        That parents love to use.

    (And oft I turn it into verse,
     And write it down upon a page,
     Which, being sold, supplies my purse
        And ministers to age.)

     So as we paced the curving High,
     To view the sights of Oxford town
     We raised our feet (like Nelly Bly),
        And then we put them down.

    'Now, little Edward, answer me'—
     I said, and clutched him by the gown—
    'At Cambridge would you rather be,
        Or here in Oxford town?'

     My boy replied with tiny frown
    (He'd been a year at Cavendish),
    'I'd rather dwell in Oxford town,
        If I could have my wish.'

    'Now, little Edward, say why so;
     My little Edward, tell me why.'
    'Well, really, Pa, I hardly know.'
       'Remarkable!' said I:

    'For Cambridge has her "King's Parade,"
     And much the more becoming gown;
     Why should you slight her so,' I said,
    'Compared with Oxford town?'

     At this my boy hung down his head,
     While sterner grew the parent's eye;
     And six-and-thirty times I said,
    'Come, Edward, tell me why?'

     For I loved Cambridge (where they deal—
     How strange!—in butter by the yard);
     And so, with every third appeal,
        I hit him rather hard.

     Twelve times I struck, as may be seen
    (For three times twelve is thirty-six),
     When in a shop the Magazine
        His tearful sight did fix.

     He saw it plain, it made him smile,
     And thus to me he made reply:—
    'At Oxford there's a Crocodile;[1]
        And that's the reason why.'

     Oh, Mr. Editor! my heart
     For deeper lore would seldom yearn,
     Could I believe the hundredth part
        Of what from you I learn.

[1] Certain obscure paragraphs relating to a crocodile, kept at the Museum, had been perplexing the readers of the Oxford Magazine for some time past, and had been distorted into an allegory of portentous meaning.


By A. C. S.

     The Centuries kiss and commingle,
     Cling, clasp, and are knit in a chain;
     No cycle but scorns to be single,
     No two but demur to be twain,
    'Till the land of the lute and the love-tale
     Be bride of the boreal breast,
     And the dawn with the darkness shall dovetail,
       The East with the West.

     The desire of the grey for the dun nights
     Is that of the dun for the grey;
     The tales of the Thousand and One Nights
     Touch lips with 'The Times' of to-day.—
     Come, chasten the cheap with the classic;
     Choose, Churton, thy chair and thy class,
     Mix, melt in the must that is Massic
        The beer that is Bass!

     Omnipotent age of the Aorist!
     Infinitely freely exact!—
     As the fragrance of fiction is fairest
     If frayed in the furnace of fact—
     Though nine be the Muses in number
     There is hope if the handbook be one,—
     Dispelling the planets that cumber
        The path of the sun.

     Though crimson thy hands and thy hood be
     With the blood of a brother betrayed,
     O Would-be-Professor of Would-be,
     We call thee to bless and to aid.
     Transmuted would travel with Er, see
     The Land of the Rolling of Logs,
     Charmed, chained to thy side, as to Circe
        The Ithacan hogs.

     O bourne of the black and the godly!
     O land where the good niggers go.
     With the books that are borrowed of Bodley,
     Old moons and our castaway clo'!
     There, there, till the roses be ripened
     Rebuke us, revile, and review,
     Then take thee thine annual stipend
        So long over-due.

[1] Suggested by an Article in the Quarterly Review, enforcing the unity of literature ancient and modern, and the necessity of providing a new School of Literature in Oxford.


By Sir W. S.

Written on the occasion of the visit of the United Fire Brigades to
Oxford, 1887.


     St. Giles's street is fair and wide,
        St. Giles's street is long;
     But long or wide, may naught abide
        Therein of guile or wrong;
     For through St. Giles's, to and fro,
     The mild ecclesiastics go
        From prime to evensong.
     It were a fearsome task, perdie!
     To sin in such good company.


     Long had the slanting beam of day
     Proclaimed the Thirtieth of May
     Ere now, erect, its fiery heat
     Illumined all that hallowed street,
     And breathing benediction on
     Thy serried battlements, St. John,
     Suffused at once with equal glow
     The cluster'd Archipelago,
     The Art Professor's studio
        And Mr. Greenwood's shop,
     Thy building, Pusey, where below
     The stout Salvation soldiers blow
        The cornet till they drop;
     Thine, Balliol, where we move, and oh!
        Thine, Randolph, where we stop.


     But what is this that frights the air,
     And wakes the curate from his lair
        In Pusey's cool retreat,
     To leave the feast, to climb the stair,
        And scan the startled street?
     As when perambulate the young
     And call with unrelenting tongue
        On home, mamma, and sire;
     Or voters shout with strength of lung
        For Hall & Co's Entire;
     Or Sabbath-breakers scream and shout—
     The band of Booth, with drum devout,
     Eliza on her Sunday out,
        Or Farmer with his choir:—


     E'en so, with shriek of fife and drum
        And horrid clang of brass,
     The Fire Brigades of England come
        And down St. Giles's pass.
     Oh grand, methinks, in such array
     To spend a Whitsun Holiday
        All soaking to the skin!
    (Yet shoes and hose alike are stout;
     The shoes to keep the water out,
        The hose to keep it in.)


     They came from Henley on the Thames,
        From Berwick on the Tweed,
     And at the mercy of the flames
     They left their children and their dames,
     To come and play their little games
        On Morrell's dewy mead.
     Yet feared they not with fire to play—
     The pyrotechnics (so they say)
        Were very fine indeed.


(P.S. by Lord Macaulay).

     Then let us bless Our Gracious Queen and eke the Fire Brigade,
     And bless no less the horrid mess they've been and gone
         and made;
     Remove the dirt they chose to squirt upon our best attire,
     Bless all, but most the lucky chance that no one
         shouted 'Fire!'


Plain Language from truthful James[1].

     Do I sleep? Do I dream?
        Am I hoaxed by a scout?
     Are things what they seem,
        Or is Sophists about?
     Is our "to ti en einai" a failure, or is Robert Browning played

     Which expressions like these
        May be fairly applied
     By a party who sees
        A Society skied
     Upon tea that the Warden of Keble had biled with legitimate

    'Twas November the third,
        And I says to Bill Nye,
    'Which it's true what I've heard:
        If you're, so to speak, fly,
     There's a chance of some tea and cheap culture, the sort
       recommended as High.'

     Which I mentioned its name,
        And he ups and remarks:
    'If dress-coats is the game
        And pow-wow in the Parks,
     Then I 'm nuts on Sordello and Hohenstiel-Schwangau and similar

     Now the pride of Bill Nye
        Cannot well be express'd;
     For he wore a white tie
        And a cut-away vest:
     Says I, 'Solomon's lilies ain't in it, and they was reputed well

     But not far did we wend,
        When we saw Pippa pass
     On the arm of a friend
      —Doctor Furnivall 'twas,
     And he wore in his hat two half-tickets for London, return,

    'Well,' I thought, 'this is odd.'
        But we came pretty quick
     To a sort of a quad
        That was all of red brick,
     And I says to the porter,—'R. Browning: free passes; and kindly
       look slick.'

     But says he, dripping tears
        In his check handkerchief,
    'That symposium's career's
        Been regrettably brief,
     For it went all its pile upon crumpets and busted on

     Then we tucked up the sleeves
        Of our shirts (that were biled),
     Which the reader perceives
        That our feelings were riled,
     And we went for that man till his mother had doubted the traits
       of her child.

     Which emotions like these
        Must be freely indulged
     By a party who sees
        A Society bulged
     On a reef the existence of which its prospectus had never

     But I ask,—Do I dream?
       Has it gone up the spout?
     Are things what they seem,
        Or is Sophists about?
     Is our "to ti en einai" a failure, or is Robert Browning played

[1] The Oxford Browning Society expired at Keble the week before this was written.



After T. I.

       As I laye a-dreamynge, a-dreamynge, a-dreamynge,
     O softlye moaned the dove to her mate within the tree,
          And meseemed unto my syghte
          Came rydynge many a knyghte
          All cased in armoure bryghte
     As I laye a-dreamynge, a goodlye companye!

       As I laye a-dreamynge, a-dreamynge, a-dreamynge,
     O sadlye mourned the dove, callynge long and callynge lowe,
          And meseemed of alle that hoste
          Notte a face but was the ghoste
          Of a friend that I hadde loste
              Long agoe.
      As I laye a-dreamynge, oh, bysson teare to flowe!

       As I laye a-dreamynge, a-dreamynge, a-dreamynge,
     O sadlye sobbed the dove as she seemed to despayre,
          And laste upon the tracke
          Came one I hayled as 'Jacke!'
          But he turned mee his backe
              With a stare:
     As I laye a-dreamynge, he lefte mee callynge there.

       Stille I laye a-dreamynge, a-dreamynge, a-dreamynge,
     And gentler sobbed the dove as it eased her of her payne,
          And meseemed a voyce yt cry'd—
         'They shall ryde, and they shall ryde
         'Tyll the truce of tyme and tyde
              Come agayne!
     Alle for Eldorado, yette never maye attayne!'

       Stille I laye a-dreamynge, a-dreamynge, a-dreamynge,
     And scarcelye moaned the dove, as her agonye was spente:
         'Shalle to-morrowe see them nygher
          To a golden walle or spyre?
          You have better in yr fyre,
              Bee contente.'
     As I laye a-dreamynge, it seem'd smalle punyshment.

       But I laye a-wakynge, and loe! the dawne was breakynge
     And rarely pyped a larke for the promyse of the daye:
         'Uppe and sette yr lance in reste!
          Uppe and followe on the queste!
          Leave the issue to be guessed
     At the endynge of the waye'—

       As I laye a-wakynge, 'twas soe she seemed to say—
    'Whatte and if it alle be feynynge?
     There be better thynges than gaynynge,
     Rycher pryzes than attaynynge.'—
          And 'twas truthe she seemed to saye.
     Whyles the dawne was breakynge, I rode upon my waye.