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Granta Victrix.

Edward Woodley Bowling 1837 (Nice,) – 1907 (Ealing, London, )



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.
 
Who when old Cam was almost dead,
His glory almost mouldy,
Replaced the laurels on his head?
Sweet Echo answers - "Goldie."
Who was our Seven of mighty brawn
As valiant as a lion?
Who could he be but strapping Strachan,
Australia's vigorous scion?
 
Who rowed more fierce than lioness,
Bereft of all her whelps?
A thousand light-blue voices bless
The magic name of Phelps.
Who was our Five? Herculean Lowe,
(Not he of the Exchequer),
So strong, that he with ease could row
A race in a three-decker.
 
Cam sighed - "When shall I win a race"?
Fair Granta whispered - "When, Sir,
You see at Four, his proper place,
My Faerie-queen-like Spencer."
'Tis distance robes the mountain pale
In azure tints of bright hue,
'More than a distance' lends to Dale,
His well earned double light-blue.
 
Proud Oxford burnt in days of old
Ridley the Cambridge Martyr,
But this year in our Ridley bold
Proud Oxford caught a Tartar.
And Randolph rowed as well beseemed
His school renowned in story,
And like old Nelson only dreamed
Of Westminster and glory.
 
These men of weight rowed strong and straight,
And led from start to finish;
Their slow and steady thirty-eight
No spurts could e'er diminish:
Till Darbyshire, not given to lose,
Sees Cambridge rowing past him;
And Goldie steps into his shoes;
Long may their leather last him!
 
Glory be theirs who've won full well
The love of Alma Mater,
The smiles of every light-blue Belle,
The shouts of every Pater!
Unlimited was each man's store
Of courage, strength, and fettle,
From Goldie downwards every oar
Was ore of precious metal.
 
Then fare-ye-well till this time year,
Ye heroes stout and strapping,
And then beware, forgive my fear,
Lest Oxford find you napping;
And, oh! when o'er your work ye bend,
'Mid shouts of - "light-blue's winning,"
If ye would triumph in the end,
Remember the beginning!
 
P.S. The Muse true to her sex,
Less to be blamed than pitied,
A Post-script must of course annex
To state a point omitted.
When Granta glorying in success
With Camus pours her orisons;
One name she gratefully must bless,
That name is mighty Morrison's.
 

 
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Submitted on August 03, 2020

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Edward Woodley Bowling

Edward Woodley Bowling was an English poet, rector of Houghton Conquest, and fellow of St John's College, Cambridge. more…

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