The Great War

from A Treasury of War Poetry, an electronic edition

Oxford in War-Time

[The Boat Race will not be held this year (1915). The whole of last year's Oxford Eight and the great majority of the cricket and football teams are serving the King.]

Under the tow-path past the barges

Never an eight goes flashing by;

Never a blatant coach on the marge is

Urging his crew to do or die;

Never the critic we knew enlarges,

Fluent, on How and Why!

Once by the Iffley Road November

Welcomed the Football men aglow,

Covered with mud, as you'll remember,

Eager to vanquish Oxford's foe.

Where are the teams of last December?

Gone -- where they had to go!

Where are her sons who waged at cricket

Warfare against the foeman-friend?

Far from the Parks, on a harder wicket,

Still they attack and still defend;

Playing a greater game, they'll stick it,

Fearless until the end!

Oxford's goodliest children leave her,

Hastily thrusting books aside;

Still the hurrying weeks bereave her,

Filling her heart with joy and pride;

Only the thought of you can grieve her,

You who have fought and died.

Notes

[The Boat Race will not be held this year (1915). The whole of last year's Oxford Eight and the great majority of the cricket and football teams are serving the King.]