The Great War

from Great Poems of the World War, an electronic edition

The Spires of Oxford
(Seen From The Train)

I SAW the spires of Oxford

As I was passing by,

The gray spires of Oxford

Against a pearl--gray sky.

My heart was with the Oxford men

Who went abroad to die.

The years go fast in Oxford,

The golden years and gay,

The hoary colleges look down

On careless boys at play.

But when the bugles sounded--War!

They put their games away.

They left the peaceful river,

The cricket field, the quad,

The shaven lawns of Oxford

To seek a bloody sod--

They gave their merry youth away

For country and for God.

God rest you, happy gentlemen,

Who laid your good lives down,

Who took the khaki and the gun

Instead of cap and gown.

God bring you to a fairer place

Than even Oxford town.