The Great War

from The Poems of Robert W. Sterling, an electronic edition

To Pembroke College

FULL often, with a cloud about me shed

Of phantoms numberless, I have alone

Wander'd in Ancient Oxford marvelling:

Calling the storied stone to yield its dead:

And I have seen the sunlight richly thrown

On spire and patient turret, conjuring

Old glass to marlèd beauty with its kiss,

And making blossom all the foison sown

Through lapsèd years. I've felt the deeper bliss

Of eve calm-brooding o'er her lovèd care,

And tingeing her one all-embosoming tone.

And I have dream'd on thee, thou college fair.

Dearest to me of all, until I seem'd

Sunk in the very substance that I dream'd.

And oh! methought that this whole edifice,

Forg'd in the spirit and the fires that burn

Out of that past of splendent histories,

Up-towering yet, fresh potency might learn,

And to new summits turn,

Vaunting the banner still of what hath been and is.