The Scarlet Gown Part 9

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Join it, divines most grave; Science, as all men know, As a friend the Church may save, But may damage her as a foe.

(And in any case it is well, If attacking insidious doubt, Or devoting H--- to H---, To know what you're talking about.)

Hurrah for the lang-nebbit word!

Hurrah for the erudite phrase, That in Dura Den shall be heard, That shall echo on Kinkell Braes!

Hurrah for the spoils of the links (The golf-ball as well as the daisy)!



Hurrah for explosions and stinks To set half the landladies crazy!

Hurrah for the fragments of boulders, Surpa.s.sing in size and in weight, To be carried home on the shoulders And laid on the table in state!

Hurrah for the flying-machine Long buried from sight in a cupboard, With bones that would never have been Desired of old Mother Hubbard!

Hurrah for the hazardous boat, For the crabs (of all kinds) to be caught, For the eggs on the surface that float, And the lump-sucker curiously wrought!

Hurrah for the filling of tanks In the shanty down by the sh.o.r.e, For the Royal Society's thanks, With Fellows.h.i.+ps flying galore!

Hurrah for discourses on worms, Where one listens and comes away With a stock of bewildering terms, And nothing whatever to pay!

Hurrah for gadding about Of a Sat.u.r.day afternoon, In the light of research setting out, Coming home in the light of the moon!

Hurrah for Guardbridge, and the mill Where one learns how paper is made!

Hurrah for the samples that fill One's drawer with the finest cream-laid!

Hurrah for the Brewery visit And beer in liberal doses!

In the cause of Science, what is it But inspecting a technical process?

Hurrah for a trip to Dundee To study the spinning of jute!

Hurrah for a restaurant tea, And a sight of the Tay Bridge to boot!

Hurrah, after every excursion, To feel one's improving one's mind, With the smallest amount of exertion, And that of the pleasantest kind!

IMITATED FROM WORDSWORTH

He brought a team from Inversnaid To play our Third Fifteen, A man whom none of us had played And very few had seen.

He weighed not less than eighteen stone, And to a practised eye He seemed as little fit to run As he was fit to fly.

He looked so clumsy and so slow, And made so little fuss; But he got in behind--and oh, The difference to us!

REFLECTIONS OF A MAGISTRAND

ON RETURNING TO ST. ANDREWS

In the hard familiar horse-box I am sitting once again; Creeping back to old St. Andrews comes the slow North British train,

Bearing bejants with their luggage (boxes full of heavy books, Which the porter, hot and tipless, eyes with unforgiving looks),

Bearing third year men and second, bearing them and bearing me, Who am now a fourth year magnate with two parts of my degree.

We have started off from Leuchars, and my thoughts have started too Back to times when this sensation was entirely fresh and new.

When I marvelled at the towers beyond the Eden's wide expanse, Eager-hearted as a boy when first he leaves his father's manse

With some money in his pocket, with some down upon his cheek, With the elements of Latin, with the rudiments of Greek.

And his spirit leaps within him to be gone before him then, Underneath the towers he looks at, in among the throngs of men,

Men from Fife and men from Forfar, from the High School of Dundee, Ten or twelve from other counties, and from England two or three.

Oh, the Bursary Compet.i.tion! oh, the wonder and the rage, When I saw my name omitted from the schedule in the cage!

Grief is strong but youth elastic, and I rallied from the blow, For I felt that there were few things in the world I did not know.

Then my ready-made opinions upon all things under heaven I declaimed with sound and fury, to an audience of eleven

Gathered in the Logic cla.s.s-room, sworn to settle the debate, _Does the Stage upon the whole demoralise or elevate_?

This and other joys I tasted. I became a Volunteer, Murmuring _Dulce et decorum_ in the Battery-Sergeant's ear;

Joined the Golf Club, and with others of an afternoon was seen Vainly searching in the whins, or foozling on the putting-green;

Took a minor part in Readings; lifted up my voice and sang At the Musical rehearsals, till the cla.s.s-room rafters rang;

Wrote long poems for the Column; entered for the S. R. C, And, if I remember rightly, was thrown out by twenty-three;

Ground a little for my cla.s.ses, till the hour of nine or ten, When I read a decent novel or went out to see some men.

So I reaped the large experience which has made me what I am, Far removed from bejanthood as is St. Andrews from Siam.

But with age and with experience disenchantment comes to all, Even pleasure on the keenest appet.i.te at last will pall.

Had I now a hundred pounds, a hundred pounds would I bestow To enjoy the loud solatium as I did three years ago,

When the songs were less familiar, less familiar too the pies, And I did not mind receiving orange-peel between the eyes.

Yet, in spite of disenchantment, and in spite of finding out There are some things in the world that I am hardly sure about,

Still sufficient of illusion and inexplicable grace Hangs about the grey old town to make it a delightful place.

The Scarlet Gown Part 9

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The Scarlet Gown Part 9 summary

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