The Spike: or, Victoria College Review, October 1909
Ship Cove; Queen Charlotte Sound.
Hush! Do you think he ever trod this rood?
Mayhap his pinnace furrowed wave and sand
Twin-shadowed by the rata and the pine;
And where the fantails flutter on a stair
No three feet from the ripple, it may be
He stooped to pluck a lucid stalk that held
In sap old memories of the Yorkshire wold.
His keen grey eye would mark the creek that slid
Through yonder thicket like a fugue that winds
Through organ pipes to fall at last, desired,
Smooth, delicate, a messenger of peace.
Suppose he carved a name upon a bole,
A word, a letter only; if it strayed
Long after through the moss, and fret of years,
A tortive hieroglyph—why, we would stoop
To let it lie entangled in our eyes;
Seeing no other, for a moment fused
Suddenly with the past; and we should be
kindred to the Olympian days when time
Stole through the fiord like rower who delays
To watch the sunset; all forgetting, all
Inheriting the magic of the place
The father of our waters! If he be
One that we share with islands of the foam
Of prodigal madrepores, how great the star
That shines within the double hemisphere.
page 72 What are we worthy if we gather up
The richness of our land, and falter not
When our remembrance lingers in this cove
Like aureole of his brightness. Let the tide
Flow ever through impediment of calm,
To lull the ancient haunt of great design
And great achievement. Where a full-veined heart
Hath made a covenant, established it,
Never should any vexing of espial
Come near to palter with the memory.
But troubled gratitude that cannot pour
Enough in thankfulness should be our veil;
And thoughts that are too pure, too deep, for words
Should wreathe a sanctity that is not ours.
Quis multa gracilis te, puer, in rosa. . .
What scented stripling thee doth woo
In cosy corner at the dance?
For whom dost thou thy tresses do
So artless in thy elegance?
Laura, how oft will he bewail
Thy fickle faith and fortune's change
And wonder at the sullen gale,
Unused the stormy seas to range?
Who basks now in thy golden sun
And fondly dreams thee ever kind
With heart-room for no other one,
He little knows the treacherous wind.
Poor wretches, they to whom afer
An Eldorado thou dost loom;
For me, I thank my lucky star
That I have just escaped their doom.
O Venus, regina. . . . . .
Venus, queen of Orient isle,
Leave thy chosen realm awhile,
Make with Maud thy domicile,
Sojourn in her shrine;
Let Love hot-foot come with thee,
Nymphs and Graces girdle-free,
Youth, whom thy society
Ever doth refine.
Persicos odi, puer, adparatus. . . . .
Spare me, boy, the formal state
Of your dinners up-to-date,
Frenchy dishes, silver-plate
And the swallow-tail;
Let us rather take our ease
In undress beneath the trees
Washing down our bread and cheese
With a mug of ale.
Arthur Chorlton.page 74
Slow man, fast man,
Old man, baby,
Brown and Lady,
Never mind how
Loath you may be,
Come and join the Corps.
They are still a young Corps, in fact mere infantry.
Inaugural Ode on the V.C. Officers Training Corps
Rejoice Imperial Mother! Let the breeze
Of hope renewed dispel your dread alarms;
Your weary elder sons may stand at ease.
The trump of war declares
The fact in blatant blares
And drowns those touching things the College Glees.
Spirits of warriors long buried and dead,
All of your genius in one little head
Gather, you sprites, for the good of the nation,
Into one glorious centralization,
Smile on him, Jupiter, smile on him, Mars,
Fit him for victories, battles and slaughters,
Make him the joy of all mothers and pas,
Make him immune from the smiles of their daughters:
Give him a book of manæuvres as litany,
Guns let him shoot at the foe (he won't hit any);
Make him a paragon general here,
Wellington Moltke Napoleon Beere.
But soft! From high Olympus Jove descends,
Deserts the Board of gods and here unbends:
His hands still red with Cerberean gore,
He scents a nobler game,—the dogs of war.
Beside him strides, with features grimly set,
Hung down in front his trusty bayonet,
That foreign god, von Zedlitz. By and by
They'll trust in him and keep their powder dry.
His duty too, when airships come and go,
To analyse their language here below.
And lastly Pluto brings his fiery shield
And once a year that camp on Easer field.
Immortals these, they stand in mortal dread
Of glorious Beere, who's risen to their head.
And lo, this gallant troop can boast, this martial fierce array,
As many officers as men to honour and obey.
Again behold their Captain Beere, of proud and stately port;
And yet he'll not be Captain long, for see Lieutenant Short.
And though 'tis true in love and war, that men will all things dare,
Their means will surely not be foul, when led by Sergeant Fair.
The matrons say,"the pretty boy," the girls they all adore him,
And this, of course you'll understand, refers to Corporal Oram.
Here is the flower of our manhood in bud;
See how their noble eyes blaze as they mobilize,
Eager to wallow to victory through blood,
Like that unholy 'un, bony Napoleon.
Stealthily, creepily, whispering in shouts,
Steadily, sleepily, out go the scouts.
Then comes the main brigade, uniforms t ell,
Making a plain brigade look rather well;
(Even a puny form, wrapped in a uniform,
Looks rather well).
Bravely they thresh along, wear and hot,
Sometimes it's echelon, sometimes it's not.
Guns to the right of them mow them like grass,
Strangely, in spite of them, onwards they pass.
Powder is flying ground and each man'll
Soon be applying his oil and his flannel.
Such is the sum of a warriors toil,
Oceans of trouble, and afterwards--oil.
General de Bility