E. W. BOWLING,
RECTOR OF HOUGHTON CONQUEST, AND LATE FELLOW OF ST. JOHN'S COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE.
Si dulce est desipere in loco, ignosce nostro, blande lector, ioco.
LONGMANS, GREEN, AND CO.,
CAMBRIDGE: W. METCALFE & SON, TRINITY STREET.
A very few of the following pieces appeared in "Punch," during the Consulship of Plancus. The rest have been written by me during the past twenty-five years, under the signature of "Arculus," for "The Eagle," the Magazine of St. John's College, Cambridge. I hope their reappearance will be welcome to a few of my old College friends.
The general reader will probably think that some apology is due to him from me for publishing verses of so crude and trivial a character.
I can only say that the smallest of bows should sometimes be unstrung, and that if my little arrows are flimsy and light they will, I trust, wound no one.
E. W. BOWLING.
THE BATTLE OF THE PONS TRIUM TROJANORUM JULIA CLIO FATIDICA ATHLETES AND AESTHESIS A VISION A MAY TERM MEMORY THE MAY TERM A TRAGEDY OF THE 19TH CENTURY "NUNC TE BACCHE CANAM" A ROMANCE IN REAL (ACADEMIC) LIFE THE SENIOR FELLOW A VALENTINE A CURATE'S COMPLAINT TEMPORA MUTANTUR SIMPLEX MUNDITIIS TURGIDUS ALPINUS THE ALPINE CLUB MAN THE MODERN CLIMBER THE CLIMBER'S DREAM THE BEACONSFIELD ALPHABET THE GLADSTONE ALPHABET SOLITUDE IN SEPTEMBER MEDITATIONS OF A CLASSICAL MAN ON A MATHEMATICAL PAPER DURING A LATE FELLOWSHIP EXAMINATION THE LADY MARGARET 5TH BOAT (May, 1863) IN CAMUM FATHER CAMUS IN MEMORIAM G. A. P. GRANTA VICTRIX THE GREAT BOAT RACE LINES BY A CAMBRIDGE ANCIENT MARINER THE SORROWS OF FATHER CAM THE COMING BOAT RACE A BALLAD AN APRIL SQUALL BEDFORDSHIRE BALLAD.—I. BEDFORDSHIRE BALLAD.—II. BEDFORDSHIRE BALLAD.—III. BEDFORDSHIRE BALLAD.—IV.
[Transcriber's note: The poems "In Camus" and "Father Camus" appear to be the same poem, the former in Latin; the latter in English. In the original book, they are printed on facing pairs of pages, the left-hand page Latin, the right-hand page English. In this e-text, each poem is together, and are in the same order as shown in the Table of Contents.]
THE BATTLE OF THE PONS TRIUM TROJANORUM:
A lay sung in the Temple of Minerva Girtanensis.
[NOTE.—On Thursday, February 24th, 1881, three Graces were submitted to the Senate of the University of Cambridge, confirming the Report of The Syndicate appointed June 3rd, 1880, to consider four memorials relating to the Higher Education of Women. The first two Graces were passed by majorities of 398 and 258 against 32 and 26 respectively; the third was unopposed. The allusions in the following lay will probably be understood only by those who reside in Cambridge; but it may be stated that Professor Kennedy, Professor Fawcett, and Sir C. Dilke gave their votes and influence in favour of The Graces, while Dr. Guillemard, Mr. Wace, Mr. Potts, Professor Lumby, Dr. Perowne, Mr. Horne and Mr. Hamblin Smith voted against The Graces.]
Aemilia Girtonensis, By the Nine Muses swore That the great house of Girton Should suffer wrong no more. By the Muses Nine she swore it, And named a voting day, And bade her learned ladies write, And summon to the impending fight Their masters grave and gay.
East and West and South and North The learned ladies wrote, And town and gown and country Have read the martial note. Shame on the Cambridge Senator Who dares to lag behind, When light-blue ladies call him To join the march of mind.
But by the yellow Camus Was tumult and affright: Straightway to Pater Varius The Trojans take their flight— 'O Varius, Father Varius, 'To whom the Trojans pray, 'The ladies are upon us! 'We look to thee this day!'
There be thirty chosen Fellows, The wisest of the land, Who hard by Pater Varius To bar all progress stand: Evening and morn the Thirty On the Three Graces sit, Traced from the left by fingers deft In the great Press of Pitt.
And with one voice the Thirty Have uttered their decree— 'Go forth, go forth, great Varius, 'Oppose the Graces Three! 'The enemy already 'Are quartered in the town, 'And if they once the Tripos gain, 'What hope to save the gown?'
'To Hiz,  the town of Offa, 'Their classes first they led, 'Then onward to Girtonia 'And Nunamantium sped: 'And now a mighty army 'Of young and beardless girls 'Beneath our very citadel 'A banner proud unfurls.'
Then out spake Father Varius, No craven heart was his: 'To Pollmen and to Wranglers 'Death comes but once, I wis. 'And how can man live better, 'Or die with more renown, 'Than fighting against Progress 'For the rights of cap and gown?'
'I, with two more to help me, 'Will face yon Graces Three; 'Will guard the Holy Tripod, 'And the M.A. Degree. 'We know that by obstruction 'Three may a thousand foil. 'Now who will stand on either hand 'To guard our Trojan soil?'
Then Parvue Mariensis, Of Bearded Jove the Priest, Spake out 'of Trojan warriors 'I am, perhaps, the least, 'Yet will I stand at thy right hand.' Cried Pottius—'I likewise 'At thy left side will stem the tide 'Of myriad flashing eyes.
Meanwhile the Ladies' Army, Right glorious to behold, Came clad in silks and satins bright, With seal-skins and with furs bedight, And gems and rings of gold. Four hundred warriors shouted 'Placet' with fiendish glee, As that fair host with fairy feet, And smiles unutterably sweet, Came tripping each towards her seat, Where stood the dauntless Three.
The Three stood calm and silent, And frowned upon their foes, As a great shout of laughter From the four hundred rose: And forth three chiefs came spurring Before their ladies gay, They faced the Three, they scowled and scoffed, Their gowns they donned, their caps they doffed, Then sped them to the fray.
Generalis Post-Magister, Lord of the Letter-bags; And Dilkius Radicalis, Who ne'er in combat lags; And Graecus Professorius, Beloved of fair Sabrine, From the grey Elms—beneath whose shade A hospitable banquet laid, Had heroes e'en of cowards made.— Brought 'placets' thirty-nine.
Stout Varius hurled 'non placet' At Post-Magister's head: At the mere glance of Pottius Fierce Radicalis fled: And Parvus Mariensis— So they who heard him tell— Uttered but one false quantity, And Professorius fell!
* * * *
But fiercer still and fiercer Fresh foemen sought the fray. And fainter still and fainter Stout Varius stood at bay. 'O that this too, too solid Flesh would dissolve,' he sighed; Yet still he stood undaunted, And still the foe defied.
Then Pollia Nunamensis, A student sweetly fair, Famed for her smiles and dimples Blue eyes and golden hair, Of Cupid's arrows seized a pair, One in each eye she took: Cupid's best bow with all her might She pulled—each arrow winged its flight, And straightway reason, sense, and sight Stout Varius forsook.
'He falls'—the Placets thundered, And filled the yawning gap; In vain his trusty comrades Avenge their chief's mishap— His last great fight is done. 'They charge! Brave Pottius prostrate lies, No Rider helps him to arise: They charge! Fierce Mariensis dies. The Bridge, the Bridge is won!
In vain did Bencornutus Flash lightnings from his beard; In vain Fabrorum Maximus His massive form upreared; And Lumbius Revisorius— Diviner potent he!— And Peronatus robed in state, And fine old Fossilis sedate, All vainly stemmed the tide of fate— Triumphed the Graces Three!
But when in future ages Women have won their rights, And sweet girl-undergraduates Read through the lamp-lit nights; When some, now unborn, Pollia Her head with science crams; When the girls make Greek Iambics, And the boys black-currant jams;
When the goodman's shuttle merrily Goes flashing through the loom, And the good wife reads her Plato In her own sequestered room; With weeping and with laughter Still shall the tale be told, How pretty Pollia won the Bridge In the brave days of old.
 The ancient name of Hitchin.
[NOTE.—The following imitation of Cowper's Boadicea was written in 1858; most of its predictions have since been fulfilled.]
When the Cambridge flower-show ended, And the flowers and guests were gone, And the evening shades descended, Roamed a man forlorn alone.
Sage beside the River slow Sat the Don renowned for lore And in accents soft and low To the elms his love did pour.
"Julia, if my learned eyes Gaze upon thy matchless face: 'Tis because I feel there lies Magic in thy lovely grace.
"I will marry! write that threat In the ink I daily waste: Marry—pay each College debt— College Ale no more will taste.
"Granta, far and wide renowned, Frowns upon the married state; Soon her pride shall kiss the ground Hark! Reform is at the gate.
"Other Fellows shall arise, Proud to own a husband's name: Proud to own their infants' cries— Harmony the path to fame.
"Then the progeny that springs From our ancient College walls, Armed with trumpets, noisy things, Shall astound us by their squalls.
"Sounds no wrangler yet has heard, Our posterity shall fright: E'en 'the Eagle,'  valiant bird, Shall betake itself to flight."
Such the thoughts that through him whirl'd Pensively reclining there: Smiling, as his fingers curled His divinely-glowing hair.
He, with all a lover's pride, Felt his manly bosom glow, Sought the Bull, besought the Bride, All she said was "No, Sir, No!"
Julia, pitiless as cold, Lo the vengeance due from Heaven! College Living he doth hold; Single bliss to thee is given.
 "The Eagle" is the well-known Magazine of St. John's College, Cambridge.
[NOTE.—The following lines were written to celebrate the 'bump' by which the Lady Margaret 1st Boat became "Head of the River" in 1871. On the next evening Professor Selwyn delighted the eyes and the hearts of all Johnians by sculling down the river to salute the Head of the River. The title of psychroloutes [*] needs no explanation to those who know the Selwyns, who are no less renowned as swimmers than as oarsmen.]
"Tell me, Muse, what colour floateth round the River's ancient head: Is it white and black, or white and blue, is it scarlet, blue, or red?" Thus I prayed, and Clio answered, "Why, I thought the whole world knew That the red of Margareta had deposed the flag of blue! Babes unborn shall sing in rapture how, desiring Close  affinity, Goldie, rowing nearly fifty, overlapped, and bumped First Trinity. I myself was at the Willows, and beheld the victory won; Saw the victor's final effort, and the deed of daring done. I myself took off my bonnet, and forgetful of my years, Patting Goldie on the shoulder, gave him three times thrice three cheers. Ne'er, oh! ne'er, shall be forgotten the excitement of that night; Aged Dons, deem'd stony-hearted, wept with rapture at the sight: E'en the Master of a College, as he saw them overlap, Shouted 'Well rowed, Lady Margaret,' and took off his College cap; And a Doctor of Divinity, in his Academic garb, Sang a solemn song of triumph, as he lashed his gallant barb; Strong men swooned, and small boys whistled, sympathetic hounds did yell Lovely maidens smiled their sweetest on the men who'd rowed so well: Goldie, Hibbert, Lang, and Bonsey, Sawyer, Burnside, Harris, Brooke; And the pride of knighthood, Bayard, who the right course ne'er forsook, But the sight which most rejoiced me was the well-known form aquatic Of a scholar famed for boating and for witticisms Attic. Proud, I ween, was Lady Margaret her Professor there to view, As with words of wit and wisdom he regaled the conquering crew. Proud, I ween, were Cam and Granta, as they saw once more afloat Their Etonian psychroloutes [*], in his "Funny" little boat. Much, I ween, their watery spirits did within their heart's rejoice, As they listened to the music of that deep and mellow voice. Ah! 'tis well, to sing of boating, when before my swimming eyes Baleful visions of the future, woes unutterable rise. All our palmy days are over; for the fairer, feebler sex Has determined every College in succession to annex; And before another decade has elapsed, our eyes shall see College Tutors wearing thimbles o'er convivial cups of tea. For 'golden-haired girl-graduates,' with 'Dowagers for Dons,' Shall tyrannize in Trinity, and domineer in 'John's.' Then, instead of May Term races in the science grand of rowing, There'll be constant competition in the subtle art of sewing. Soon the modern undergraduate, with a feather in her hat, Shall parade the streets of Cambridge, followed by her faithful cat. From Parker's Piece and Former's shall be banished bat and wicket, For crotchet work and knitting shall supplant the game of cricket, Save whene'er a match at croquet once a Term is played at Girton By the Members of "the College" and the Moralists of Merton. Then no tandems shall be driven, and no more athletic sports, Save fancy balls and dances, shall appear in "Field" reports: And instead of 'pots' and 'pewters' to promote the art of walking, We shall have a silver medal for proficiency in talking. Wranglers fair shall daily wrangle, who no Mathematics ken; Lady preachers fill the pulpit, lady critics wield the pen. O ye gallant, gallant heroes who the River's head have won, Little know ye what an era of confusion hath begun. I myself shall flee from Cambridge, sick at heart and sorely vexed, Ere I see my University disestablished and unsexed.'" Thus she spake, and I endeavoured to console the weeping Muse: "Dry your tears, beloved Clio, drive away this fit of blues. Cease your soul with gloomy fancies and forebodings to perplex; You are doing gross injustice to the merits of your sex. Know you not that things are changing, that the Earth regains her youth, Since Philosophers have brought to light the one primeval truth? Long have all things been misgoverned by the foolish race of men, Who've monopolized sword, sceptre, mitre, ermine, spade, and pen, All the failures, all the follies, that the weary world bewails, Have arisen, trust me, simply from the government of males. But a brighter age is dawning; in the circling of the years Lordly woman sees before her new 'ambitions,' new careers; For the world's regeneration instantaneously began, When Philosophers discovered the inferior claims of man. With new honours Alma Mater shall eternally be crowned, When the Ladies march in triumph, and her learned seat surround; Then a nobler race of students, and of athletes shall arise, Students fair who thirst for knowledge, athletes true who 'pots' despise. It is well for thee, sweet Clio, at their harmless tastes to sneer, At their love of cats and croquet, their antipathy to beer; But as soon as every College has surrendered to the fair, Life up here will be perfection, we shall breathe ambrosial air; For the problem of past ages will be solved, and we shall find The superior powers of woman, both in body and in mind. She shall teach us how to study, how to ride, and run, and row; How to box and play at cricket; how the heavy weight to throw; How to shoot the trembling pigeon; how the wily rat to slay; How at football and at racquets; how at whist and chess to play; How to drive the rapid tandem; how to jump, and how to walk; (For young women, trust me, Clio, can do something more than talk) How to climb the Alps in summer; how in winter time to skate; How to hold the deadly rifle; how a yacht to navigate; How to make the winning hazard with an effort sure and strong; How to play the maddening comet, how to sing a comic song; How to 'utilize' Professors; how to purify the Cam; How to brew a sherry cobbler, and to make red-currant jam. All the arts which now we practise in a desultory way Shall be taught us to perfection, when we own the Ladies' sway." Thus I spake, and strove by speaking to assuage sweet Clio's fears; But she shook her head in sorrow, and departed drowned in tears.
 Mr. J. B. Close, a well-known oarsman, stroke of the First Trinity 1st Boat.
[*] [Transcriber's note: The word "psychroloutes" appears in the original book in Greek. It has been transliterated from the Greek letters psi, upsilon, chi, rho, omicron, lambda, omicron, upsilon, tau, eta, and sigma.]
ATHLETES AND AESTHESIS.
An Idyll of the Cam.
It was an Undergraduate, his years were scarce nineteen; Discretion's years and wisdom's teeth he plainly ne'er had seen; For his step was light and jaunty, and around him wide and far He puffed the fragrant odours of a casual cigar.
It was a sweet girl-graduate, her years were thirty two; Her brow was intellectual, her whole appearance blue; Her dress was mediaeval, and, as if by way of charm, Six volumes strapped together she was bearing 'neath her arm.
'My beautiful Aesthesis,' the young man rashly cried, 'I am the young Athletes, of Trinity the pride; I have large estates in Ireland, which ere long will pay me rent; I have rooms in Piccadilly, and a farm (unlet) in Kent.
'My achievements thou hast heard of, how I chalk the wily cue, Pull an oar, and wield the willow, and have won my double-blue; How I ride, and play lawn tennis; how I make a claret cup; Own the sweetest of bull terriers, and a grand St. Bernard pup.
'But believe me, since I've seen thee, all these pleasures are a bore; Life has now one only object fit to love and to adore; Long in silence have I worshipped, long in secret have I sighed: Tell me, beautiful Aesthesis, wilt thou be my blooming bride?'
'Sir Student,' quoth the maiden, 'you are really quite intense, And I ever of this honour shall retain the highest sense; But forgive me, if I venture'—faintly blushing thus she spoke— 'Is not true love inconsistent with tobacco's mundane smoke?'
'Perish all that comes between us,' cried Athletes, as he threw His weed full fifty paces in the stream of Camus blue: The burning weed encountered the cold river with the hiss Which ensues when fire and water, wranglers old, are forced to kiss.
'Sir Student, much I thank thee,' said the Lady, 'thou hast shown The fragrance of a lily, or of petals freshly blown; But before to thee I listen there are questions not a few Which demand from thee an answer satisfactory and true.'
'Fire away,' exclaimed Athletes, 'I will do the best I can; But remember, gentle Maiden, that I'm not a reading man; So your humble servant begs you, put your questions pretty plain, For my Tutors all assure me I'm not overstocked with brain.
'Sir Student' cried the Lady, and her glance was stern and high, Hast thou felt the soft vibration of a summer sunset sky? Art thou soulful? Art thou tuneful? Cans't thou weep o'er nature's woes? Art thou redolent of Ruskin? Dost thou love a yellow rose?
'Hast thou bathed in emanations from the canvass of Burne Jones? As thou gazest at a Whistler, doth it whistle wistful tones? Art thou sadly sympathetic with a symphony in blue? Tell me, tell me, gentle Student, art thou really quite tootoo?'
''Pon my word,' replied the Student, 'this is coming it too strong: I can sketch a bit at Lecture, and can sing a comic song; But my head with all these subjects 'tis impossible to cram; So, my beautiful Aesthesis, you must take me as I am.'
'Wilt thou come into my parlour,' sweetly blushing asked the Maid, 'To my little bower in Girton, where a table shall be laid? Pen and paper I will bring thee, and whatever thou shalt ask, That is lawful, shall be granted for performance of thy task.'
Lightly leapt the young Athletes from his seat beside the Cam: 'This is tempting me, by Jingo, to submit to an Exam! So it's time, my learned Lady, you and I should say good-bye'— And he stood with indignation and wild terror in his eye.
They parted, and Athletes had not left her very far, Ere again he puffed the odours of a casual cigar; But he oftentimes lamented, as to manhood's years he grew, 'What a pity such a stunner was so spoilt by being blue!'
And Aesthesis, as she watched him with his swinging manly stride, The 'double-blue' Athletes, of Trinity the pride, Found it difficult entirely to eradicate love's dart, As she listened to thy Lecture, Slade Professor of Fine Art.
And Ruskin, and the warblings of Whistler and Burne Jones, And symphonies in colours, and sunset's silent tones, Move her not as once they moved her, for she weeps in sorrow sore, 'O had I loved Athletes less, or he loved culture more!'
As hard at work I trimmed the midnight lamp, Yfilling of mine head with classic lore, Mine hands firm clasped upon my temples damp, Methought I heard a tapping at the door; 'Come in,' I cried, with most unearthly rore, Fearing a horrid Dun or Don to see, Or Tomkins, that unmitigated bore, Whom I love not, but who alas! loves me, And cometh oft unbid and drinketh of my tea.
'Come in,' I rored; when suddenly there rose A magick form before my dazzled eyes: 'Or do I wake,' I asked myself 'or doze'? Or hath an angel come in mortal guise'? So wondered I; but nothing mote surmise; Only I gazed upon that lovely face, In reverence yblent with mute surprise: Sure never yet was seen such wondrous grace, Since Adam first began to run his earthlie race.
Her hands were folded on her bosom meek; Her sweet blue eyes were lifted t'ward the skie; Her lips were parted, yet she did not speak; Only at times she sighed, or seemed to sigh: In all her 'haviour was there nought of shy; Yet well I wis no Son of Earth would dare, To look with love upon that lofty eye; For in her beauty there was somewhat rare, A something that repell'd an ordinary stare.
Then did she straight a snowycloth disclose Of samite, which she placed upon a chair: Then, smiling like a freshly-budding rose, She gazed upon me with a witching air, As mote a Cynic anchorite ensnare. Eftsoons, as though her thoughts she could not smother, She hasted thus her mission to declare:— 'Please, these is your clean things I've brought instead of brother, 'And if you'll pay the bill you'll much oblige my mother.'
A MAY TERM MEMORY.
She wore a sweet pink bonnet, The sweetest ever known: And as I gazed upon it, My heart was not my own. For—I know not why or wherefore— A pink bonnet put on well, Tho' few other things I care for, Acts upon me like a spell.
'Twas at the May Term Races That first I met her eye: Amid a thousand Graces No form with her's could vie. On Grassy's sward enamelled She reigned fair Beauty's Queen; And every heart entrammell'd With the charms of sweet eighteen.
Once more I saw that Bonnet— 'Twas on the King's Parade— Once more I gazed upon it, And silent homage paid. She knew not I was gazing; She passed unheeding by; While I, in trance amazing, Stood staring at the sky.
The May Term now is over: That Bonnet has 'gone down'; And I'm myself a rover, Far from my Cap and Gown. But I dread the Long Vacation, And its work by night and day, After all the dissipation Energetic of the May.
For x and y will vanish, When that Bonnet I recall; And a vision fair will banish, Newton, Euclid, and Snowball. And a gleam of tresses golden, And of eyes divinely blue, Will interfere with Holden, And my Verse and Prose imbue.
* * * *
These sweet girl graduate beauties, With their bonnets and their roses, Will mar ere long the duties Which Granta wise imposes. Who, when such eyes are shining, Can quell his heart's sensations; Or turn without repining To Square Root and Equations?
And when conspicuous my name By absence shall appear; When I have lost all hopes of fame, Which once I held so dear; When 'plucked' I seek a vain relief In plaintive dirge or sonnet; Thou wilt have caused that bitter grief, Thou beautiful Pink Bonnet!
THE MAY TERM.
Mille venit variis florum Dea nexa coronis: Scena ioci morem liberioris habet.
OV. FAST. IV. 945, 946.
I wish that the May Term were over, That its wearisome pleasures were o'er, And I were reclining in clover On the downs by a wave-beaten shore: For fathers and mothers by dozens, And sisters, a host without end, Are bringing up numberless cousins, Who have each a particular friend.
I'm not yet confirmed in misogyny— They are all very well in their way— But my heart is as hard as mahogany, When I think of the ladies in May. I shudder at each railway-whistle, Like a very much victimized lamb; For I know that the carriages bristle With ladies invading the Cam.
Last week, as in due preparation For reading I sported my door, With surprise and no small indignation, I picked up this note on the floor— 'Dear E. we are coming to see you, 'So get us some lunch if you can; 'We shall take you to Grassy, as Jehu— 'Your affectionate friend, Mary Ann.'
Affectionate friend! I'm disgusted With proofs of affection like these, I'm growing 'old, tawny and crusted,' Tho' my nature is easy to please. An Englishman's home is his castle, So I think that my friend Mary Ann Should respect, tho' she deem him her vassal, The rooms of a reading young man.
In the days of our fathers how pleasant The May Term up here must have been! No chignons distracting were present, And scarcely a bonnet was seen. As the boats paddled round Grassy Corner No ladies examined the crews, Or exclaimed with the voice of the scorner— 'Look, how Mr. Arculus screws!!
But now there are ladies in College, There are ladies in Chapels and Halls; No doubt 'tis a pure love of knowledge That brings them within our old walls; For they talk about Goldie's 'beginning'; Know the meaning of 'finish' and 'scratch,' And will bet even gloves on our winning The Boat Race, Athletics, or Match.
There's nothing but music and dancing, Bands playing on each College green; And bright eyes are merrily glancing Where nothing but books should be seen. They tell of a grave Dean a fable, That reproving an idle young man He faltered, for on his own table He detected in horror—a fan!
Through Libraries, Kitchens, Museums, These Prussian-like Amazons rush, Over manuscripts, joints, mausoleums, With equal intensity gush. Then making their due 'requisition,' From 'the lions' awhile they refrain, And repose in the perfect fruition Of ices, cold fowl, and champagne.
Mr. Editor, answer my question— When, O when, shall this tyranny cease? Shall the process of mental digestion Ne'er find from the enemy peace? Above all if my name you should guess, Sir, Keep it quite to yourself, if you can; For I dread, more than words can express, Sir, My affectionate friend Mary Ann.
A TRAGEDY OF THE 19TH CENTURY.
"Et potis es nigrum vitio praefigere Delta."—PERSIUS.
It was a young Examiner, scarce thirty were his years, His name our University loves, honours, and reveres: He pondered o'er some papers, and a tear stood in his eye; He split his quill upon the desk, and raised a bitter cry— 'O why has Fortune struck me down with this unearthly blow? "Why doom'd me to examine in my lov'd one's Little-go? "O Love and Duty, sisters twain, in diverse ways ye pull; "I dare not 'pass,' I scarce can 'pluck:' my cup of woe is full. "O that I ever should have lived this dismal day to see"! He knit his brow, and nerved his hand, and wrote the fatal D.
* * * * * *
It was a lovely maiden down in Hertford's lovely shire; Before her on a reading-desk, lay many a well-filled quire: The lamp of genius lit her eyes; her years were twenty-two; Her brow was high, her cheek was pale, her bearing somewhat blue: She pondered o'er a folio, and laboured to divine The mysteries of "x" and "y," and many a magic sign: Yet now and then she raised her eye, and ceased awhile to ponder, And seem'd as though inclined to allow her thoughts elsewhere to wander, A step was heard, she closed her book; her heart beat high and fast, As through the court and up the stairs a manly figure passed. One moment more, the opening door disclosed unto her view Her own beloved Examiner, her friend and lover true. "Tell me, my own Rixator, is it First or Second Class?" His firm frame shook, he scarce could speak, he only sigh'd "Alas!" She gazed upon him with an air serenely calm and proud— "Nay, tell me all, I fear it not"—he murmured sadly "Ploughed." She clasped her hands, she closed her eyes as fell the word of doom; Full five times round in silence did she pace her little room; Then calmly sat before her books, and sigh'd "Rixator dear, "Give me the list of subjects to be studied for next year."
"My own brave Mathematica, my pupil and my pride, "My persevering Student whom I destine for my bride; "Love struggled hard with Duty, while the lover marked you B; "In the end the stern Examiner prevailed and gave you D. "Mine was the hand that dealt the blow! Alas, against my will "I plucked you in Arithmetic—and can'st thou love me still?" She gazed upon him and her eye was full of love and pride— "Nay these are but the trials, Love, by which true love is tried.
"I never knew your value true, until you marked me D: "D stands for dear, and dear to me you evermore shall be."
* * * * * *
A year had passed, and she had passed, for morning, noon, and night, Her Euclid and her Barnard-Smith had been her sole delight. Soon "Baccalaurea Artium" was added to her name, And Hitchin's groves, and Granta's courts resounded with her fame; And when Rixator hurried down one day by the express, And asked if she would have him, I believe she answered "Yes." For now they live together, and a wiser, happier pair, More learned and more loving, can scarce be found elsewhere; And they teach their children Euclid, and their babies all can speak French and German in their cradles, and at five can write good Greek; And he is a Professor and she Professoress, And they never cease the Little-go in gratitude to bless; When love could not the Lover from the path of duty sway, And no amount of plucking could his Student fair dismay.
Faint heart ne'er won fair lady, if in love you would have luck, In wooing, as in warfare, trust in nothing else than pluck.
"NUNC TE BACCHE CANAM."
'Tis done! Henceforth nor joy nor woe Can make or mar my fate; I gaze around, above, below, And all is desolate. Go, bid the shattered pine to bloom; The mourner to be merry; But bid no ray to cheer the tomb In which my hopes I bury!
I never thought the world was fair; That 'Truth must reign victorious'; I knew that Honesty was rare; Wealth only meritorious. I knew that Women might deceive, And sometimes cared for money; That Lovers who in Love believe Find gall as well as honey.
I knew that "wondrous Classic lore" Meant something most pedantic; That Mathematics were a bore, And Morals un-romantic. I knew my own beloved light-blue Might much improve their rowing: In fact, I knew a thing or two Decidedly worth knowing.
But thou!—Fool, fool, I thought that thou At least wert something glorious; I saw thy polished ivory brow, And could not feel censorious. I thought I saw thee smile—but that Was all imagination; Upon the garden seat I sat, And gazed in adoration.
I plucked a newly-budding rose, Our lips then met together; We spoke not—but a lover knows How lips two lives can tether. We parted! I believed thee true; I asked for no love-token; But now thy form no more I view— My Pipe, my Pipe, thou'rt broken!
Broken!—and when the Sun's warm rays Illumine hill and heather, I think of all the pleasant days We might have had together. When Lucifer's phosphoric beam Shines e'er the Lake's dim water, O then, my Beautiful, I dream Of thee, the salt sea's daughter.
O why did Death thy beauty snatch And leave me lone and blighted, Before the Hymeneal match Our young loves had united? I knew thou wert not made of clay, I loved thee with devotion, Soft emanation of the spray! Bright, foam-born child of Ocean!
One night I saw an unknown star, Methought it gently nodded; I saw, or seemed to see, afar Thy spirit disembodied. Cleansed from the stain of smoke and oil, My tears it bade me wipe, And there, relieved from earthly toil, I saw my Meerschaum pipe.
Men offer me the noisome weed; But nought can calm my sorrow; Nor joy nor misery I heed; I care not for the morrow. Pipeless and friendless, tempest-tost I fade, I faint, I languish; He only who has loved and lost Can measure all my anguish.
A ROMANCE IN REAL (ACADEMIC) LIFE.
By the waters of Cam, as the shades were descending, A Fellow sat moaning his desolate lot; From his sad eyes were flowing salt rivulets, blending Their tide with the river which heeded them not—
"O! why did I leave,"—thus he wearily muttered— "The silent repose, and the shade of my books, Where the voice of a woman no sound ever uttered, And I ne'er felt the magic of feminine looks?
"Then I rose when the east with Aurora was ruddy; Took a plunge in my Pliny; collated a play; No breakfast I ate, for I found in each study A collation which lasted me all through the day.
"I know not what temptress first came to my garden Of Eden, and lured me stern wisdom to leave; But I rather believe that a sweet 'Dolly Varden' Came into my rooms on a soft summer eve.
"From that hour to this, dresses silken and satin Seem to rustle around me, like wings in a dream; And eyes of bright blue, as I lecture in Latin, Fill my head with ideas quite remote from my theme.
"My life was once lonely, and almost ascetic; But now, if I venture to walk in the street, With her books in her hand, some fair Peripatetic Is sure to address me with whisperings sweet.
"O, dear DR. OXYTONE, tell me the meaning Of this terrible phrase, which I cannot make out; And what is the Latin for "reaping" and "gleaning?" Is "podagra" the Greek, or the Latin for "gout?"
"'And what do you mean by "paroemiac bases?" Did the ladies in Athens wear heels very high? Do give me the rules for Greek accents, and Crasis? Did CORNELIA drive out to dine in a fly?
"'When were bonnets first worn? was the toga becoming? Were woman's rights duly respected in Rome? What tune was that horrible Emperor strumming, When all was on fire—was it Home, Sweet Home?"
"Such questions as these (sweetest questions!) assail me, When I walk on our Trumpington-Road-Rotten-Row; The voice of the charmer ne'er ceases to hail me (Is it wisely she charmeth?) wherever I go.
"Locked up in my rooms, I sigh wearily 'ohe!' But cards, notes, and letters pour in by each post; From PHYLLIS, EUPHROSYNE, PHIDYLE, CHLOE, AMARYLLIS and JANE, and a numberless host.
"And now, I must take either poison or blue-pill, For things cannot last very long as they are." He ceased, as the exquisite form of a pupil Dawned upon him, serene as a beautiful star.
Much of syntax and "accidence moving" our Fellow Discoursed as they sat by the murmuring stream, Till, as young Desdemona was charmed by Othello, She listened, as one who is dreaming a dream.
* * * * * * Now he, who was once a confirmed woman-hater, Sees faces around him far dearer than books; And no longer a Coelebs, but husband and "pater," Lauds in Latin and Greek MRS. OXYTONE'S looks.
THE SENIOR FELLOW.
When the shades of eve descending Throw o'er cloistered courts their gloom, Dimly with the twilight blending Memories long forgotten loom. From the bright fire's falling embers Faces smile that smiled of yore; Till my heart again remembers Hopes and thoughts that live no more.
Then again does manhood's vigour Nerve my arm with iron strength; As of old when trained with rigour We beat Oxford by a length. Once again the willow wielding Do I urge the flying ball; Till "lost ball" the men who're fielding Hot and weary faintly call.
Then I think of hours of study, Study silent as the tomb, Till the rays of morning ruddy Shone within my lonely room. Once again my heart is burning With ambition's restless glow; And long hidden founts of learning O'er my thirsty spirit flow.
Soon fresh scenes my fancy people, For I see a wooded hill; See above the well-known steeple; Hear below the well-known rill; Joyous sounds each gale is bringing, Wafted on its fragrant breath; Hark! I hear young voices singing, Voices silent now in death.
Brothers, sisters, loved and loving, Hold me in their fond embrace; Half forgiving, half reproving, I can see my Mother's face, Mid a night of raven tresses, Through the gloom two sad eyes shine; And my hand a soft hand presses, And a heart beats close to mine.
In mine ears a voice is ringing, Sweeter far than earthly strain, Heavenly consolation bringing From the land that knows no pain, And when slowly from me stealing Fades that vision into air, Every pulse beats with the feeling That a Spirit loved was there.
O how shall I write a love-ditty To my Alice on Valentine's day? How win the affection or pity Of a being so lively and gay? For I'm an unpicturesque creature, Fond of pipes and port wine and a doze Without a respectable feature, With a squint and a very queer nose.
But she is a being seraphic, Full of fun, full of frolic and mirth; Who can talk in a manner most graphic Every possible language on earth. When she's roaming in regions Italic, You would think her a fair Florentine; She speaks German like Schiller; and Gallic Better far than Rousseau or Racine.
She sings—sweeter far than a cymbal (A sound which I never have heard); She plays—and her fingers most nimble Make music more soft than a bird. She speaks—'tis like melody stealing O'er the Mediterranean sea; She smiles—I am instantly kneeling On each gouty and corpulent knee.
'Tis night! the pale moon shines in heaven (Where else it should shine I don't know), And like fire-flies the Pleiades seven Are winking at mortals below: Let them wink, if they like it, for ever, My heart they will ne'er lead astray; Nor the soft silken memories sever, Which bind me to Alice De Grey.
If I roam thro' the dim Coliseum, Her fairy form follows me there; If I list to the solemn "Te Deum," Her voice seems to join in the prayer. "Sweet spirit" I seem to remember, O would she were near me to hum it; As I heard her in sunny September, On the Rigi's aerial summit!
O Alice where art thou? No answer Comes to cheer my disconsolate heart; Perhaps she has married a lancer, Or a bishop, or baronet smart; Perhaps, as the Belle of the ball-room, She is dancing, nor thinking of me; Or riding in front of a small groom; Or tossed in a tempest at sea;
Or listening to sweet Donizetti, In Venice, or Rome, or La Scala; Or walking alone on a jetty; Or buttering bread in a parlour; Perhaps, at our next merry meeting, She will find me dull, married, and gray; So I'll send her this juvenile greeting On the Eve of St. Valentine's day.
A CURATE'S COMPLAINT.
Where are they all departed, The loved ones of my youth, Those emblems white of purity, Sweet innocence and truth? When day-light drives the darkness, When evening melts to night, When noon-day suns burn brightest, They come not to my sight.
I miss their pure embraces Around my neck and throat, The thousand winning graces Whereon I used to dote. I know I may find markets Where love is bought and sold, But no such love can equal The tender ties of old.
My gentle washer-woman, I know that you are true; The least shade of suspicion Can never fall on you. Then fear me not, as fiercely I fix on thee stern eyes, And ask in terms emphatic, "Where are my lost white ties?"
Each year I buy a dozen, Yet scarce a year is gone, Ere, looking in my ward-robe, I find that I have none. I don't believe in magic, I know that you are true, Yet say, my washer-woman, What can those white ties do?
Does each with her own collar To regions far elope, Regions by starch untainted, And innocent of soap? I know not; but in future I'll buy no more white ties, But wear the stiff 'all-rounder' Of Ritualistic guise.
There once was a time when I revelled in rhyme, with Valentines deluged my cousins,
Translated Tibullus and half of Catullus, and poems produced by the dozens.
Now my tale is nigh told, for my blood's running cold, all my laurels lie yellow and faded.
"We have come to the boss;"  like a weary old hoss, poor Pegasus limps, and is jaded.
And yet Mr. Editor, like a stern creditor, duns me for this or that article,
Though he very well knows that of Verse and of prose I am stripped to the very last particle.
What shall I write of? What subject indite of? All my vis viva is failing;
Emeritus sum; Mons Parnassus is dumb, and my prayers to the Nine unavailing.—
Thus in vain have I often attempted to soften the hard heart of Mr. Arenae;
Like a sop, I must throw him some sort of a poem, in spite of unwilling Camenae.
* * * * * *
No longer I roam in my Johnian home, no more in the "wilderness" wander;
And absence we know, for the Poet says so, makes the heart of the lover grow fonder.
I pine for the Cam, like a runaway lamb that misses his woolly-backed mother;
I can find no relief for my passionate grief, nor my groanings disconsolate smother.
Say, how are you all in our old College Hall? Are the dinners more costly, or plainer?
How are Lecturers, Tutors, Tobacco and Pewters, and how is my friend, the Complainer?
Are the pupils of Merton, and students of Girton, increasing in numbers, or fewer?
Are they pretty, or plain? Humble-minded or vain? Are they paler, or pinker, or bluer?
How's the party of stormers, our so-called Reformers? Are Moral and Natural Sciences
Improving men's Minds? Who the money now finds, for Museums, and all their appliances?
Is Philosophy thriving, or sound sense reviving? Is high-table talk metaphysic?
Will dark blue or light have the best of the fight, at Putney and Mortlake and Chiswick?
I often importune the favour of Fortune, that no misadventure may cross us,
And Rhodes once again on the watery plain, may prove an aquatic Colossus.
[N.B. since I wrote I must add a short note, by means of new fangled devices,
Our "Three" was unseated, and we were defeated, and robbed of our laurels by Isis.]—
O oft do I dream of the muddy old stream, the Father of wisdom and knowledge,
Where ages ago I delighted to row for the honour and praise of my College.
I feel every muscle engaged in the tussle, I hear the wild shouting and screaming;
And as we return I can see from the stern Lady Margaret's red banner streaming;
Till I wake with a start, such as nightmares impart, and find myself rapidly gliding,
And striving in vain at my ease to remain on a seat that is constantly sliding.
Institutions are changed, men and manners deranged, new systems of rowing and reading,
And writing and thinking, and eating and drinking, each other are quickly succeeding.
Who knows to what end these new notions will tend? No doubt all the world is progressing,
For Kenealy and Odgers, those wide-awake dodgers, the wrongs of mankind are redressing.
No doubt we shall soon take a trip to the moon, if we need recreation or frolic;
Or fly to the stars in the New Pullman Cars, when we find the dull earth melancholic.
We shall know the delights of enjoying our rights without any duties to vex us;
We shall know the unknown; the Philosopher's stone shall be ours, and no problems perplex us;
For all shall be patent, no mysteries latent; man's mind by intuitive notion,
The circle shall square, x and y shall declare, and discover perpetual motion.
Meanwhile till the Earth has accomplished its birth, mid visions of imminent glory,
I prefer to remain, as aforetime, a plain and bloated and bigoted Tory.
* * * * * * Dear Mr. Editor, lately my creditor, now fully paid and my debtor,
I wonder what you will be minded to do, when you get this rhapsodical letter.
If you listen to me (I shall charge you no fee for advice) do not keep or return it;
To its merits be kind, to its faults rather blind; in a word, Mr. Editor, burn it!
 'iam fervenimus usque ad umbilicos.' Martial iv. 91.
(OR, WHAT SHOULD A MAIDEN BE?)
[NOTE.—The following lines were written by request, to be read at a Meeting of the "Girls' Friendly Society."]
What should a maiden be? Pure as the rill, Ere it has left its first home in the hill; Thinking no evil, suspecting no guile, Cherishing nought that can harm or defile.
What should a maiden be? Honest and true, Giving to God and to neighbour their due; Modest and merciful, simple and neat, Clad in the white robe of innocence sweet.
What should a maiden be? She should be loath Lightly to give or receive loving troth; But when her faith is once plighted, till breath Leave her, her love should be stronger than death.
What should a maiden be? Merry, whene'er Merriment comes with a natural air; But let not mirth be an every-day guest, Quietness sits on a maiden the best.
Like a fair lily, sequestered and meek, She should be sought for, not others should seek; But, when the wild winds of trouble arise, She should be calm and courageous and wise,
What should her words be? Her words should be few, Honest and genuine, tender and true; Words that overflow from a pure heart within, Guiltless of folly, untainted by sin.
What should her dress be? Not gaudy and vain, But unaffectedly pretty and plain; She should remember these few simple words— "Fine feathers flourish on foolish young birds."
Where should a maiden be? Home is the place Which a fair maid is most fitted to grace; There should she turn, like a bird to the nest, There should a maiden be, blessing and blest.
There should she dwell as the handmaid of God, And if He bid her 'pass under the rod,' Let her each murmur repining suppress, Knowing He chasteneth that He may bless.
But if earth's blessings each day He renew, Let her give glory where glory is due; Deem every blessing a gift from above, Given, and designed for a purpose of love,
What will her future be? If she become Matron and mother, may God bless her home! God to the matron all blessings will give, If as God's maiden the young maiden live.
What will her future be? If she should die, Lightly the earth on her ashes will lie; Softly her body will sleep 'neath the sod, While her pure spirit is safe with her God.
My miserable countrymen, whose wont is once a-year To lounge in watering-places, disagreeable and dear; Who on pigmy Cambrian mountains, and in Scotch or Irish bogs Imbibe incessant whisky, and inhale incessant fogs: Ye know not with what transports the mad Alpine Clubman gushes, When with rope and axe and knapsack to the realms of snow he rushes. O can I e'er the hour forget—a voice within cries "Never!"— From British beef and sherry dear which my young heart did sever? My limbs were cased in flannel light, my frame in Norfolk jacket, As jauntily I stepped upon the impatient Calais packet. "Dark lowered the tempest overhead," the waters wildly rolled, Wildly the moon sailed thro' the clouds, "and it grew wondrous cold;" The good ship cleft the darkness, like an iron wedge, I trow, As the steward whispered kindly, "you had better go below"— Enough! I've viewed with dauntless eye the cattle's bloody tide; Thy horse, proud Duke of Manchester, I've seen straight at me ride; I've braved chance ram-rods from my friends, blank cartridges from foes; The jeers of fair spectators, when I fell upon my nose; I've laughed at toils and troubles, as a British Volunteer; But the thought of that nigh's misery still makes me pale with fear. Sweet the repose which cometh as the due reward of toil; Sweet to the sea-worn traveller the French or British soil; But a railway-carriage full of men, who smoke and drink and spit, Who disgust you by their manners, and oppress you with their wit; A carriage garlic-scented, full of uproar and of heat, To a sleepy, jaded Briton is decidedly not sweet. Then welcome, welcome Paris, peerless city of delights! Welcome, Boulevards, fields Elysian, brilliant days and magic nights! "Vive la gloire, et vive Napoleon! vive l'Empire (c'est la paix); "Vive la France, the land of beauty! vive la Rue St. Honore!" Wildly shouting thus in triumph, I arrived at my Hotel— The exterior was palatial, and the dinner pretty well: O'er the rest, ye muses draw a veil! 'Twas the Exhibition year— And everything was nasty, and proportionately dear, Why should ye sing how much I paid for one poor pint of claret— The horrors of my bedroom in a flea-frequented garret— Its non-Sabaean odours—Liliputian devices For washing in a tea-cup—all at "Exhibition prices?" To the mountains, to the mountains, to their snowy peaks I fly! For their pure, primeval freshness, for their solitude I sigh! Past old Dijon and its Buffet, past fair Macon and its wine, Thro' the lime-stone cliffs, of Jura, past Mont Cenis' wondrous line; Till at 10 A.M., "Lake Leman woos me with its crystal face," And I take outside the diligence for Chamonix my place. Still my fond imagination views, in memory's mirror clear, Purple rock, and snowy mountain, pine-wood black, and glassy mere; Foaming torrents hoarsely raving; tinkling cowbells in the glade; Meadows green, and maidens mowing in the pleasant twilight shade: The crimson crown of sun-set on Mont Blanc's majestic head, And each lesser peak beneath him pale and ghastly as the dead: Eagle-nest-like mountain chalets, where the tourist for some sous Can imbibe milk by the bucket, and on Nature's grandeur muse: Mont Anvert, the "Pas" called "mauvais," which I thought was "pas mauvais," Where, in spite of all my boasting, I encountered some delay; For, much to my amazement, at the steepest part I met A matron who weighed twenty stones, and I think must be there yet: The stupendous Col du Geant, with its chaos of seracs; The procession into Cormayeur, with lantern, rope, and axe: The sweet girl with golden ringlets—her dear name was Mary Ann— Whom I helped to climb the Jardin, and who cut me at Lausanne: On these, the charms of Chamonix, sweeter far than words can tell, At the witching hour of twilight doth my memory love to dwell. Ye, who ne'er have known the rapture, the unutterable bliss Of Savoy's sequestered valleys, and the mountains of La Suisse; The mosquitos of Martigny; the confusion of Sierre; The dirt of Visp or Minister, and the odours everywhere: Ye, who ne'er from Monte Rosa have surveyed Italia's plain, Till you wonder if you ever will get safely down again; Ye, who ne'er have stood on tip-toe on a 'knife-like snow-arete,' Nor have started avalanches by the pressure of your weight; Ye, who ne'er have packed your weary limbs in sleeping bags at night, Some few inches from a berg-schrund, 'neath the pale moon's freezing light: Who have ne'er stood on the snow-fields, when the sun in glory rose, Nor returned again at sun-set with parched lips and skinless nose; Ye, who love not masked crevasses, falling stones, and blistered feet, Sudden changes from Siberia's cold to equatorial heat; Ye, who love not the extortions of Padrone, Driver, Guide; Ye, who love not o'er the Gemmi on a kicking mule to ride; You miserable creatures, who will never know true bliss, You're not the men for Chamonix; avoid, avoid La Suisse!
THE ALPINE CLUB MAN.
"Up the high Alps, perspiring madman, steam, To please the school-boys, and become a theme." Cf. Juv. Sat. x, v. 106.
We who know not the charms of a glass below Zero, Come list to the lay of an Alpine Club hero; For no mortal below, contradict it who can, Lives a life half so blest as the Alpine Club man.
When men of low tastes snore serenely in bed, He is up and abroad with a nose blue and red; While the lark, who would peacefully sleep in her nest, Wakes and blesses the stranger who murders her rest.
Now blowing their fingers, with frost-bitten toes, The joyous procession exultingly goes; Above them the glaciers spectral are shining, But onward they march undismay'd, unrepining.
Now the glacier blue they approach with blue noses, When a yawning crevasse further progress opposes; Already their troubles begin—here's the rub! So they halt, and nem. con. call aloud for their grub.
From the fountain of pleasure will bitterness spring, Yet why should the Muse aught but happiness sing? No! let me the terrible anguish conceal Of the hero whose guide had forgotten the veal! 
Now "all full inside" on the ice they embark: The moon has gone down, and the morning is dark, Dreary drizzles the rain, O, deny it who can, There's no one so blest as the Alpine Club man!
But why should I dwell on their labours at length? Why sing of their eyelids' astonishing strength? How they ride up "aretes" with slow, steady advance, One leg over Italy, one over France.
Now the summit is gained, the reward of their toil: So they sit down contentedly water to boil: Eat and drink, stamp their feet, and keep warm if they can— O who is so blest as the Alpine Club man?
Now their lips and their hands are of wonderful hue, And skinless their noses, that 'erst were so blue: And they find to their cost that high regions agree With that patient explorer and climber—the flea.
Then they slide down again in a manner not cozy, (Descensus baud facilis est Montis Rosae) Now spread on all fours, on their backs now descending, Till broad-cloth and bellows call loudly for mending.
Now harnessed together like so many—horses, By bridges of snow they cross awful crevasses; So frail are these bridges that they who go o'er 'em Indulge in a perilous "Pons Asinorum."
Lastly weary and Jaded, with hunger opprest, In a hut they chew goat's flesh, and court gentle rest; But entomological hosts have conspired To drive sleep from their eyelids, with clambering tired.
O thou, who with banner of strangest device Hast never yet stood on a summit of ice, Where "lifeless but beautiful" nature doth show An unvaried expanse of rock, rain, ice, and snow.
Perchance thou may'st ask what avails all their toil? What avails it on mountain-tops water to boil? What avails it to leave their snug beds in the dark? Do they go for a view? do they go for a lark?
Know, presumptuous wretch, 'tis not science they prize, The lark, and the view ('tis all mist) they despise; Like the wise king of France with his ten thousand men, They go up their mountain—to come down again.
 Cf. Peaks, Passes, and Glaciers, 1st Series, p. 296.
THE MODERN CLIMBER.
Year after year, as Summer suns come round, Upon the Calais packet am I found: Thence to Geneva hurried by express, I halt for breakfast, bathe, and change my dress. My well-worn knapsack to my back I strap; My Alpine rope I neatly round me wrap; Then, axe in hand, the diligence disdaining, I walk to Chamonix, by way of training. Arrived at Coutlet's Inn by eventide, I interview my porter and my guide: My guide, that Mentor who has dragg'd full oft These aching, shaking, quaking limbs aloft; Braved falling stones, cut steps on ice-slopes steep, That I the glory of his deeds might reap. My porter, who with uncomplaining back O'er passes, peaks, and glaciers bears my pack: Tho' now the good man looks a trifle sadder, When I suggest the ill-omened name of "ladder." O'er many a pipe our heads we put together; Our first enquiry is of course "the weather." With buoyant hearts the star-lit heaven we view; Then our next point is "What are we to 'do'?" My pipe I pocket, and with head up-tossed My listening followers I thus accost:— "Mont Blanc, we know, is stupid, stale, and slow, A tiresome tramp o'er lumps of lifeless snow. The Col du Geant is a trifle worse; The Jardin's fit for babies with their nurse: The Aiguille Verte is more the sort of thing, But time has robbed it of its former sting; Alone the Dent du Geant and the Dru  Remain 'undone,' and therefore fit to 'do.' Remember how I love, my comrades tried, To linger on some rocky mountain's side, "Where I can hear the crash of falling stones, Threatening destruction to the tourist's bones! No cadence falls so sweetly on my ear As stones discharged from precipices sheer: No sight is half so soothing to my nerves As boulders bounding in eccentric curves. If falling stones sufficient be not found, Lead me where avalanches most abound. Ye shake your heads; ye talk of home and wife, Of babes dependent on the Father's life. What! still reluctant? let me then make clear The duties of the guide and mountaineer; Mine is to order, yours is to obey— For you are hirelings, and 'tis I who pay. I've heard, indeed, that some old-fashioned Herren, Who've walked with Almer, Melchior, and Perren, Maintain that mountaineering is a pleasure, A recreation for our hours of leisure: 'To be or not to be' perhaps may matter To them, for they may have some brains to scatter; But we, I trust, shall take a higher view, And make our mountain motto 'die or do.' "Nay, hear me out! your scruples well I know: Trust me, not unrewarded shall ye go. If ye succeed, much money will I give, And mine unfaltering friendship, while ye live. Nor only thus will I your deeds requite; High testimonials in your books I'll write. Thee, trusty guide, will I much eulogize As strong and cautious, diligent and wise, Active, unhesitating, cheerful, sure— Nay, almost equal to an Amateur! And thou, my meekest of meek beasts of burden, Thou too shalt have thine undisputed guerdon: I'll do for thee the very best I can, And sound thy praise as 'a good third-rate man.' But if ye fail, if cannonading stones, Or toppling ice-crag, pulverize your bones; O happy stroke, that makes immortal heroes Of men who, otherwise, would be but zeroes! What tho' no Alpine horn make music drear O'er the lone snow which furnishes your bier; Nor Alpine maiden strew your grave with posies Of gentian, edelweiss, and Alpine roses? "The Alpine Muse her iciest tears shall shed, And 'build a stone-man' o'er your honour'd head, Chamois and bouquetins the spot shall haunt, With eagles, choughs, and lammergeyers gaunt; The mountain marmots, marching o'er the snow, Their yearly pilgrimage shall ne'er forego; Tyndall himself, in grand, prophetic tones, Shall calculate the movement of your bones; And your renown shall live serene, eternal, Embalmed in pages of the Alpine Journal!"
* * * * *
By reasoning such as this, year after year, I overcome my men's unreasoning fear: Twice has my guide by falling stones been struck, Yet still I trust his science and my luck. A falling stone once cut my rope in twain; We stopped to mend it, and marched on again. Once a big boulder, with a sudden whack, Severed my knapsack from my porter's back. Twice on a sliding avalanche I've slid, While my companions in its depths were hid. Daring all dangers, no disaster fearing, I carry out my plan of mountaineering. Thus have I conquered glacier, peak, and pass, Aiguilles du Midi, Cols des Grandes Jorasses. Thus shall I onward march from peak to peak, Till there are no new conquests left to seek. O the wild joy, the unutterable bliss To hear the coming avalanche's hiss! Or place oneself in acrobatic pose, While mountain missiles graze one's sun-burnt nose! And if some future season I be doom'd To be by boulders crushed, or snow entombed, Still let me upward urge my mad career, And risk my limbs and life for honour dear! Sublimely acquiescent in my lot, I'll die a martyr for—I know not what!
 Written in 1876.
THE CLIMBER'S DREAM.
I made an ascent of the Eiger Last year, which has ne'er been surpassed; 'Twas dangerous, long, and laborious, But almost incredibly fast. We started at twelve from the Faulberg; Ascended the Monch by the way; And were well at the base of our mountain, As the peak caught the dawn of the day.
In front of me Almer and Perren Cut steps, each as big as a bucket; While behind me there followed, as Herren, George, Stephen, and Freshfield, and Tuckett. We got to the top without trouble; There halted, of course, for the view; When clouds, sailing fast from the southward, Veiled over the vault of dark blue.
The lightning shone playfully round us; The thunder ferociously growled; The hail beat upon us in bullets; And the wind everlastingly howled. We turned to descend to the Scheideck, Eyes blinded, ears deafened, we ran, In our panic and hurry, forgetting To add a new stone to the man.
Palinurus himself—that is Almer— No longer could make out the track; 'Twas folly, no doubt, to go onward; 'Twas madness, of course, to go back. The snow slope grew steeper and steeper; The lightning more vividly flared; The thunder rolled deeper and deeper; And the wind more offensively blared.
But at last a strong gust for a moment Dispersed the thick cloud from our sight, And revealed an astonishing prospect, Which filled not our hearts with delight: On our right was a precipice awful; On the left chasms yawning and deep; Glazed rocks and snow-slopes were before us, At an angle alarmingly steep.
We all turned and looked back at Almer. Who then was the last on the rope; His face for a moment was clouded, Then beamed with the dawn of a hope; He came to the front, and thence forward In wonderful fashion he led, Over rocks, over snow-slopes glissading, While he stood, bolt upright on his head!
We followed, in similar fashion; Hurrah, what a moment is this! What a moment of exquisite transport! A realization of bliss! To glissade is a pleasant sensation, Of which all have written, or read; But to taste it, in perfect perfection, You should learn to glissade on your head.
Hurrah! with a wild scream of triumph, Over snow, over boulders we fly, Our heads firmly pressed to the surface, Our heels pointing up to the sky! We bound o'er the bergschrund uninjured, We shoot o'er a precipice sheer; Hurrah, for the modern glissader! Hurrah, for the wild mountaineer!
* * * * *
But, alas! what is this? what a shaking! What a jar! what a bump! what a thump! Out of bed, in intense consternation, I bound with a hop, skip, and jump. For I hear the sweet voice of a "person" Of whom I with justice am proud, "My dear, when you dream about mountains, I wish you'd not jodel so loud!"
THE BEACONSFIELD ALPHABET.
A's my new policy called Annexation; B is the Bother it causes the nation. C is Lord Chelmsford, engaged with Zulus; D the Disasters which give me 'the blues.' E is the Effort I make to look merry; F is my Failure—deplorable very! G is Sir Garnett, alas, not ubiquitous! H stands for H——t, an M.P. iniquitous. I stands for India, a source of vexation: J are the Jews, a most excellent nation. K is the Khedive, whose plan is to borrow L L. s. d.—I'll annex him to-morrow! M's the Majority, which I much prize; N are the Non-contents whom I despise. O's the Opposition, so often defeated; P is P——ll, that Home-ruler conceited. Q are the Questions put by noble Lords; R my Responses, more cutting than swords. S is the Sultan, my friend true and warm; T are the Turks, whom I hope to reform. U's my Utopia—Cyprus, I mean: V is Victoria, my Empress and Queen. W's the World, which ere long I shall own; X is the sign of my power unknown. Y is the Yacht I shall keep in the Red Sea: Z the Zulus, whom I wish in the Dead Sea.
THE GLADSTONE ALPHABET.
A's Aristides, or Gladstone the Good; B is Lord B., whom I'd crush if I could. C are Conservatives, full of mad pranks; D are the Dunces who fill up their ranks. E stands for Ewelme, of some notoriety; F for the Fuss made in Oxford society. G stands for Gladstone, a hewer of wood; H is my Hatchet of merciless mood. I is the Irish Church which I cut down: J are the Jobs which I kill with a frown, K are the Knocks which I give and I take: L are the Liberals whom I forsake. M are the Ministry whom I revile; N are the Noodles my speeches beguile. O is the Office I mean to refuse: P is the Premier—I long for his shoes. Q are the Qualms of my conscience refined; R is the Rhetoric nothing can bind, S is Herr Schliemann who loves much to walk about T ancient Troy, which I love much to talk about. U is the Union of Church and State; V are my former Views, now out of date. W is William, the People's 'True Bill,' X is the Exit from power of that 'Will.' Y is Young England, who soon will unite Z in fresh Zeal for the 'People's Delight.'
SOLITUDE IN SEPTEMBER.
O BEATA SOLITUDO; O SOLA BEATITUDO.
(Inscription in the Grounds of Burg Birseck, near Basel.)
Sweet Solitude where dost thou linger? When and where shall I look in thy face? Feel the soft magic touch of thy finger, The glow of thy silent embrace? Stern Civilization has banished Thy charms to a region unknown; The spell of thy beauty has vanished— Sweet Solitude, where hast thou flown?
I have sought thee on pampas and prairie, By blue lake and bluer crevasse, On shores that are arid and airy, Lone peak, and precipitous pass. I have sought thee, sweet Solitude, ever Regardless of peril and pain; But in spite of my utmost endeavour I have sought thee, fair charmer, in vain.
To the Alps, to the Alps in September, Unconducted by Cook, did I rush; Full well even now I remember How my heart with emotion did gush. Here at least in these lonely recesses With thee I shall cast in my lot; Shall feel thy endearing caresses, Forgetting all else and forgot.
But I met a young couple "proposing" On the top of the sunny Languard; I surprised an old gentleman dozing, "Times" in hand, on the heights of Fort Bard. In the fir woods of sweet Pontresina Picnic papers polluted the walks; On the top of the frosty Bernina I found a young mountain of—corks.
I trod, by the falls of the Handeck, On the end of a penny cigar; As I roamed in the woods above Landeck A hair-pin my pleasure did mar: To the Riffel in vain I retreated, Mr. Gaze and the Gazers were there; On the top of the Matterhorn seated I picked up a lady's back hair!
From the Belle Vue in Thun I was hunted By "'Arry" who wished to play pool; On the Col du Bonhomme I confronted The whole of a young ladies' school. At Giacomo's Inn in Chiesa I was asked to take shares in a mine; With an agent for "Mappin's new Razor" I sat down at Baveno to dine.
On the waves of Lake Leman were floating Old lemons (imagine my feelings!), The fish in Lucerne were all gloating On cast-away salads and peelings; And egg-shells and old bones of chicken On the shore of St. Moritz did lie: My spirit within me did sicken— Sweet Solitude, where shall I fly?
Disconsolate, gloomy, and undone I take in the "Dilly" my place; By Zurich and Basel to London I rush, as if running a race. My quest and my troubles are over; As I drive through the desolate street To my Club in Pall Mall, I discover Sweet Solitude's summer retreat.
MEDITATIONS OF A
CLASSICAL MAN ON A MATHEMATICAL PAPER
DURING A LATE FELLOWSHIP EXAMINATION.
Woe, woe is me! for whither can I fly? Where hide me from Mathesis' fearful eye? Where'er I turn the Goddess haunts my path, Like grim Megoera in revengeful wrath: In accents wild, that would awake the dead, Bids me perplexing problems to unthread; Bids me the laws of x and y to unfold, And with "dry eyes" dread mysteries behold. Not thus, when blood maternal he had shed, The Furies' fangs Orestes wildly fled; Not thus Ixion fears the falling stone, Tisiphone's red lash, or dark Cocytus' moan. Spare me, Mathesis, though thy foe I be, Though at thy altar ne'er I bend the knee, Though o'er thy "Asses' Bridge" I never pass, And ne'er in this respect will prove an ass; Still let mild mercy thy fierce anger quell! oh Let, let me live to be a Johnian fellow!
* * * * * *
She hears me not! with heart as hard as lead, She hurls a Rhombus at my luckless head. Lo, where her myrmidons, a wrangling crew, With howls and yells rise darkling to the view. There Algebra, a maiden old and pale, Drinks "double x," enough to drown a whale. There Euclid, 'mid a troop of "Riders" passes, Riding a Rhomboid o'er the Bridge of Asses; And shouts to Newton, who seems rather deaf, I've crossed the Bridge in safety Q.E.F. There black Mechanics, innocent of soap, Lift the long lever, pull the pulley's rope, Coil the coy cylinder, explain the fear Which makes the nurse lean slightly to her rear; Else, equilibrium lost, to earth she'll fall, Down will come child, nurse, crinoline and all! But why describe the rest? a motley crew, Of every figure, magnitude, and hue: Now circles they describe; now form in square; Now cut ellipses in the ambient air: Then in my ear with one accord they bellow, "Fly wretch! thou ne'er shalt be a Johnian Fellow!"
Must I then bid a long farewell to "John's," Its stately courts, its wisdom-wooing Dons, Its antique towers, its labyrinthine maze, Its nights of study, and its pleasant days? O learned Synod, whose decree I wait, Whose just decision makes, or mars my fate; If in your gardens I have loved to roam, And found within your courts a second home; If I have loved the elm trees' quivering shade, Since on your banks my freshman limbs I laid; If rustling reeds make music unto me More soft, more sweet than mortal melody; If I have loved to "urge the flying ball" Against your Racquet Court's re-echoing wall; If, for the honour of the Johnian red, I've gladly spurned the matutinal bed, And though at rowing, woe is me! no dab, I've rowed my best, and seldom caught a crab; If classic Camus flow to me more dear Than yellow Tiber, or Ilissus clear; If fairer seem to me that fragrant stream Than Cupid's kiss, or Poet's pictured dream; If I have loved to linger o'er the page Of Roman Bard, and Academian sage; If all your grave pursuits, your pastimes gay, Have been my care by night, my joy by day; Still let me roam, unworthy tho' I be, By Cam's slow stream, beneath the old elm tree; Still let me lie in Alma Mater's arms, Far from the wild world's troubles and alarms: Hear me, nor in stern wrath my prayer repel! oh Let, let me live to be a Johnian Fellow!
THE LADY MARGARET 5TH BOAT,
1. BOYCOTT, W. 5. PALEY, G. A. 2. FERGUSON, R. S. 6. GORST, P. F. 3. BOWLING, E. W. 7. SECKER, J. H. 4. SMITH, JASON. 8. FISHER, J. Steerer—BUSHELL, W. D.
Eight B.A.'s stout from town came out M.A. degrees to take, And made a vow from stroke to bow a bump or two to make. Weary were they and jaded with the din of London town, And they felt a tender longing for their long-lost cap and gown. So they sought the old Loganus: well pleased, I trow, was he, The manly forms he knew so well once more again to see: And they cried—"O old Loganus, can'st thou find us e'er a boat, In which our heavy carcases may o'er the waters float?" Then laughed aloud Loganus—a bitter jest lov'd he— And he cried "Such heavy mariners I ne'er before did see; I have a fast commodious barge, drawn by a wellfed steed, 'Twill scarcely bear your weight, I fear: for never have I see'd Eight men so stout wish to go out a rowing in a 'height;' Why, gentlemen, a man of war would sink beneath your weight." Thus spake the old Loganus, and he laughed both long and loud, And when the eight men heard his words, they stood abashed and cowed; For they knew not that he loved them, and that, sharply tho' he spoke, The old man loved them kindly, tho' he also loved his joke: For Loganus is a Trojan, and tho' hoary be his head, He loveth Margareta, and the ancient Johnian red. So he brought them out an eight-oar'd tub, and oars both light and strong, And bade them be courageous, and row their ship along. Then in jumped Casa Minor, the Captain of our crew, And the gallant son-of Fergus in a "blazer" bright and new; And Thomas o Kulindon [*] full proudly grasped his oar, And Iason o Chalkourgos [*], who weighs enough for "four;" For if Jason and Medea had sailed with him for cargo, To the bottom of the Euxine would have sunk the good ship Argo. Then Pallidulus Bargaeus, the mightiest of our crew, Than whom no better oarsman ever wore the Cambridge blue. And at number six sat Peter, whom Putney's waters know; Number seven was young Josephus, the ever-sleepless Joe; Number eight was John Piscator, at his oar a wondrous dab, Who, tho' all his life a fisher, yet has never caught a crab; Last of all the martial Modius, having laid his good sword by, Seized the rudder-strings, and uttered an invigorating cry: "Are you ready all? Row, Two, a stroke! Eyes front, and sit at ease! Quick March! I meant to say, Row on! and mind the time all, please." Then sped the gallant vessel, like an arrow from a bow, And the men stood wondering on the banks to see the "Old'uns" row; And Father Camus raised his head, and smiled upon the crew, For their swing, and time, and feather, and their forms, full well he knew. They rowed past Barnwell's silvery pool, past Charon's gloomy bark, And nearly came to grief beneath the railway rafters dark: But down the willow-fringed Long Reach so fearful was their pace, That joyous was each Johnian, and pale each foeman's face. They rowed round Ditton corner, and past the pleasant Plough, Nor listened to the wild appeal for beer that came from bow; They rowed round Grassy Corner, and its fairy forms divine, But from the boat there wandered not an eye of all the nine; They rowed round First-Post Corner, the Little Bridge they passed, And calmly took their station two places from the last. Off went the gun! with one accord the sluggish Cam they smote, And were bumped in fifty seconds by the Second Jesus Boat.
[* Transcriber's note: The names "Thomas o Kulindon" and "Iason o Chalkourgos" were transliterated from the Greek as follows:
Thomas: Theta, omega, mu, alpha, sigma. o: omicron. Kulindon: Kappa, upsilon, lambda, iota, nu, delta, omega, nu.
Iason (Jason?): Iota, alpha, sigma, omega, nu. o: omicron. Chalkourgos: Chi, alpha, lambda, kappa, omicron, upsilon, rho, gamma, omicron, sigma.]
Ridicula nuper cymba, sicut meus est mos, Flumineas propter salices et murmura Cami, Multa movens mecum, fumo inspirante, iacebam. Illic forte mihi senis occurrebat imago Squalida, torva tuens, longos incompta capillos; Ipse manu cymbam prensans se littore in udo Deposuit; Camique humeros agnoscere latos Immanesque artus atque ora hirsuta videbar: Mox lacrymas inter tales dedit ore querelas— "Nate," inquit, "tu semper enim pius accola Cami, Nate, patris miserere tui, miserere tuorum! Quinque reportatis tumet Isidis unda triumphis: Quinque anni videre meos sine laude secundo Cymbam urgere loco cunctantem, et cedere victos. Heu! quis erit finis? Quis me manet exitus olim? Terga boum tergis vi non cedentia nostri Exercent iuvenes; nuda atque immania crura, Digna giganteas inter certare palaestras, Quisque ferunt, latosque humeros et brachia longa, Collaque Atlanteo non inferiora labore: "Sed vis arte carens frustra per stagna laborat: Fit brevis inque dies brevior (proh dedecus ingens!) Ictus, et incerto tremulam movet impete cymbam, Usque volaturae similem, tamen usque morantem. Ah! Stanleius ubi est? ubi fortis et acer Ioenas Et Virtus ingens, maiorque vel Hercule Iudas? Ah! ubi, laeva mei novit quem fluminis ora, Ile 'Ictus,' vitreis longe spectandus ocellis, Dulce decus Cami, quem plebs ignoblis 'Aulam,' Vulpicanem Superi grato cognomine dicunt? Te quoque, magne Pales, et te mea flumina deflent O formose puer, quibus alto in gurgite mersis Mille dedit, rapuit mille oscula candida Naias? Quid decus amissum repeto, aut iam laude perempta Nomina Putnaeis annalibus eruta testor? "Granta ruit, periitque decus, periitque vetusta Gloria remorum primaeque per aequora navis. Sed vos, O juvenes, sanguis quibus integer aevi, Spes ventura domus, Grantaeque novissima proles, Antiquum revocate decus, revocate triumphos! Continuo Palinurus ubi 'iam pergite' dixit Erectum librate caput; nec pandere crura Parcite, nec solidis firmi considere transtris! Ast ubi contactas iam palmula senserit undas, Compressa incipiat iam tum mihi crura phaselus Accipere, et faciles iter accelerare per undas. "Incipiente ictu qui vim non prompserit omnem Dique hominesque odere; hic, pondus inutile cymbae, Tardat iter; comites necat; hunc tu, nauta, caveto! Nec minus, incepto quoties ratis emicat ictu, Cura sit ad finem justos perferre labores. Vidi equidem multos—sileantur nomina—fluctus Praecipites penetrasse, sed heu! brevis effluit ictus, Immemor etremi mediique laboris in unda; Nam tales nisus tolerare humana nequit vis; Et quamvis primos jam jam victura carina Evolet in cursus, primisque triumphet in undis, Mox ubi finis adest atque ultima meta laborum, Labitur exanimis, vi non virtute subacta.
"Tu quoque qui cymbae tendis Palinurus habenas Ultro hortare viros; fortes solare benignis Vocibus; ignavos accende, suosque labores Fac peragant, segnique veta torpere veterno. Sed quid ego haec? priscae si iam pietatis imago Ulla manet, si quid vobis mea gloria curae est, Camigenae, misero tandem succurrite patri, Ereptosque diu vincendo reddite honores! Tunc ego arundinea redimitus tempora vitta Antiquo fruar imperior iustisque triumphis: Tum demum Cloacina meos foedissima fluctus Desierit temerare, et puro flumine labens Camus ad Oceanum volvetur amabilis amnis."
Dixit, et in piceas Fluvius sese abdidit undas; Sed me ridiculam solventem a littore cymbam Nectaris ambrosii circumvolvuntur odores, Decedente Deo; naresque impellit acutas Confusi canis amnis et illaetabilis aura.
Smoking lately in my "Funny," as I'm wont, beneath the bank, Listening to Cam's rippling murmurs thro' the weeds and willows dank, As I chewed the Cud of fancy, from the water there appeared An old man, fierce-eyed, and filthy, with a long and tangled beard; To the oozy shore he paddled, clinging to my Funny's nose, Till, in all his mud majestic, Cam's gigantic form arose. Brawny, broad of shoulders was he, hairy were his face and head, And amid loud lamentations tears incessantly he shed. "Son," he cried, "the sorrows pity of thy melancholy sire! Pity Camus! pity Cambridge! pity our disasters dire! Five long years hath Isis triumphed, five long years have seen my Eight Rowing second, vainly struggling 'gainst an unrelenting fate. What will be the end, I know not! what will be the doom of Camus? Shall I die disowned, dishonoured? Shall I live, and yet be famous? Backs as strong as oxen have we, legs Herculean and bare, Legs that in the ring with Titan wrestler might to wrestle dare. Arms we have long, straight, and sinewy, Shoulders broad, necks thick and strong, Necks that to the earth-supporting Atlas might full well belong. "But our strength un-scientific strives in vain thro' stagnant water, Every day, I blush to own it, Cambridge strokes are rowing shorter. With a short spasmodic impulse see the boats a moment leap, Starting with a flying motion, soon they stop and sink to sleep. Where are Stanley, Jones, and Courage? where is 'Judas' stout and tall, Where the Stroke named ''all' by Bargemen, known to Cambridge as 'Jack Hall'? 'Twas a spectacle to see him in his gig-lamps row along, And the good ship speeding onward swift as Poet's gushing song. Where is Paley? Where is Fairbairn, from whose lips the Naiads dank Snatched and gave their sweetest kisses when our Eight at Chiswick sank? What avails it to remember brilliant days now lost in night? What avails it Putney's annals, and past glories to recite? "Lost is Granta, lost our glory, lost our former pride of place, Gone are all my blushing honours, nought is left me but disgrace. For regardless of all science, every oarsman now obeys Wild, new fangled laws and notions, never dream'd of in old days. But do you, my gentle Freshmen, who have youth in every vein, Labour by your manly valour our lost laurels to regain! When you hear the Cox'n's 'row on all,' then keep erect your head; Then be your arms and bodies with one motion for'ard sped: Sit firm upon your cushions all; and, when the oar is in, With one harmonious action let your work at once begin: Press your feet against the stretcher, and your legs with vigour ply, Till the ship, as swift as lightning, thro' the yielding water fly. "He who 'misses the beginning' makes his comrades all to suffer, Spoils the swing, and is a nuisance; turn him out, for he's a duffer! Having made a good beginning you must carry on the work, And until the stroke is finished not an atom must you shirk. I have seen—no names I mention—certain oarsmen with a dash Plunge their oars into the water, and produce a sudden splash! But the middle and the finish are all wasted in the air, And no human constitution can such toil incessant bear; For although the ship at starting may at once its distance clear, And victory seem certain, when the winning post is near, The crew worn out and breathless have nothing in them left, And though pluck may ne'er desert them, of their vigour are bereft.
"And do you, my Palinuris, steering straight the gallant bark, By voice and exhortation keep your heroes to the mark. Cheer the plucky, chide the cowards who to do their work are loth, And forbid them to grow torpid by indulging selfish sloth. Fool! I know my words are idle! yet if any love remain; If my honour be your glory, my discredit be your pain; If a spark of old affection in your hearts be still alive! Rally round old Father Camus, and his glories past revive! Then adorned with reedy garland shall I take my former throne, And, victor of proud Isis, reign triumphant and alone. Then no more shall Cloacina with my streams her offerings blend, And old Camus clear as crystal to the ocean shall descend!"
He spoke, and 'neath the surface, black as pitch, he hid his head, And, punting out my Funny, I my homeward journey sped. But a strange ambrosial odour, as the God sank 'neath the flood, Seem'd to float and hover round me, creeping upward from the mud: And for ever from the water's troubled face there seem'd to rise A melancholy fragrance of dead dogs unto the skies.
IN MEMORIAM G. A. P.
He has gone to his grave in the strength of youth, While life shone bright before him; And we, who remember his worth and truth, Stand vainly grieving o'er him.
He has gone to his grave; that manly heart No more with life is glowing; And the tears to our eyes unbidden start, Our sad hearts' overflowing.
I gaze on his rooms as beneath I pace, And the past again comes o'er me, For I feel his grasp, and I see his face, And his voice has a welcome for me.
I gaze on the river, and see once more His form in the race competing; And I hear the time of his well-known oar, And the shouts his triumph greeting.
Flow on, cold river! Our bitter grief No tears from thy waves can waken: Thy whisp'ring reed, and thy willow leaf By no sad sighs are shaken.
Thy banks are thronged by the young and gay, Who dream not of the morrow; No ear hast thou for a mournful lay, No sympathy with sorrow.
Flow on, dull river! Thy heedless wave, As it echoes shouts of gladness, Bears forms as stalwart, and hearts as brave, As his whom we mourn in sadness.
But an arm more strong, and a heart more bold, And with purer feelings glowing, Thy flowing waters shall ne'er behold, Till time has ceased from flowing.
Let penny-a-liners columns pour Of turgid efflorescence, Describe in language that would floor Our Cayleys, Rouths, and Besants, How Oxford oars as levers move, While Cambridge mathematics, Though excellent in theory, prove Unstable in aquatics.
Our muse, a maiden ne'er renowned For pride, or self-reliance, Knows little of the depths profound Of "Telegraphic" science: But now her peace she cannot hold And like a true Camena, With look half-blushing and half-bold, Descends into the arena.
Sing who was he that steered to win, In spite of nine disasters, And proved that men who ne'er give in Must in the end be masters? No warrior stern by land or sea, With spurs, cocked hat, and sword on, Has weightier work than fell to thee, Our gallant little Gordon.