E W Bowling Poems >>
The Coming Boat Race

OXFORD.                    CAMBRIDGE.

      1. R. T. RAIKES.          1. J. STILL.
      2. F. CROWDER.            2. J. R. SELWYN.
      3. W. FREEMAN.            3. J. A. BOURKE.
      4. F. WILLAN.              4. J. FORTESCUE.
      5. E. F. HENLEY.          5. D. F. STEVENSON.
      6. W. W. WOOD.            6. R. A. KINGLAKE.
      7. H. P. SENHOUSE.        7. H. WATNEY.
      8. M. BROWN.              8. W. R. GRIFFITHS.
  Steerer--C. R. W. TOTTENHAM.    Steerer--A. FORBES.

  Attend, all ye who wish to see the names
      of each stout crew,
  Who've come to town from cap and gown to
      fight for their favourite blue.


  First TOTTENHAM comes, a well-known name, that
      cattle driving Cox'en.
  Who oft to victory has steer'd his gallant team of Oxon.

  O'er Putney's course so well can he that team in safety goad,
  That we ought to call old Father Thames the
      Oxford-Tottenham Road.
  Then comes the Stroke, a mariner of merit and renown;
  Since dark blue are his colours, he can never be dun-brown.
  Ye who would at your leisure his heroic deeds peruse,
  Go, read _Tom Brown at Oxford_ by the other Tom--TOM HUGHES.
  Next SENHOUSE, short for Senate-house, but long
      enough for seven,
  Shall to the _eight-oar'd_ ship impart a _sen-at-orial_ leaven.
  Then Number Six (no truer word was ever said in joke)
  In keeping with his name of WOOD, has heart and limbs of oak.
  The voice of all aquatic men the praise of "Five" proclaims;
  No finer sight can eye delight than "HENLEY-upon-Thames."
  Then Number Four who is heaver far than a number of Macmillan,
  Though WILLAN'S his name may well exclaim,
      "Here I am, but I hain't a willan."
  Then FREEMAN rows at Number Three, in a freer and manly style;
  No finer oar was e'er produced by the Tiber, Thames, or Nile.
  Let politicians, if they please, rob freemen of their vote,
  Provided they leave Oxford men a FREEMAN for their boat.
  Among the crowd of oarsmen proud no name
      will fame shout louder
  Than his who sits at Number Two, the straight
      and upright CROWDER.
  Then RAIKES rows bow, and we must allow that
      with all the weight that's aft
  The bow-oar gives a rakish air to the bows o'
      the dark-blue craft.
  This is the crew, who've donned dark blue, and
      no stouter team of Oxon
  Has ploughed the waves of old Father Thames,
      or owned a better Cox'en.


  Now, don't refuse, aquatic Muse, the glories to rehearse
  Of the rival crew, who've donned light blue, to
      row for better for worse.
  They've lost their luck, but retain their pluck,
      and whate'er their fate may be,
  Light blue may meet one more defeat, but disgrace
      they ne'er will see.
  We've seen them row thro' sleet and snow till
      they sank--"_merses profundo_"
  (HORACE, forgive me!) "_pulchrior Cami evenit arundo_."
  First little FORBES our praise absorbs, he comes
      from a learned College,
  So Cambridge hopes he will pull his ropes with
      scientific knowledge.
  May he shun the charge of swinging barge
      more straight than an archer's arrow,
  May he steer his eight, as he sits sedate in the
      stern of his vessel narrow!
  Then comes the Stroke, with a heart of oak, who
      has stood to his flag like twenty,
  While some stood aloof, and were not proof
      against _dolce far niente_.
  So let us pray that GRIFFITHS may to the banks of Cam recall
  The swing and style, lost for a while, since the
      days of JONES and HALL.
  Then WATNEY comes, and a pluckier seven ne'er
      rowed in a Cambridge crew;
  His long straight swing is just the thing which
      an oarsman loves to view.
  Then comes KINGLAKE, of a massive make, who
      in spite of failures past,
  Like a sailor true, has nailed light-blue as his
      colours to the mast.
  The Consul bold in days of old was thanked by
      the Patres hoary,
  When, in spite of luck, he displayed his pluck on
      the field of Cannae gory;
  So whate'er the fate of the Cambridge eight, let
      Cambridge men agree,
  Their voice to raise in their Captain's praise
      with thrice and three times three.
  Then Number Five is all alive, and for hard work always ready,
  As to and fro his broad back doth go, like a
      pendulum strong and steady.
  Then FORTESCUE doth pull it through without delay or dawdlin';
  Right proud I trow as they see him row are the
      merry men of Magdalen.
  Then comes a name well known to fame, the
      great and gallant BOURKE;
  Who ne'er was known fatigue to own, or neglect
      his share of work.
  _New zeal and_ life to each new stroke stout SELWYN doth impart,
  And ever with fresh vigour, like Antaeus, forward start.
  Then last, but not the least of all, to row the boat along,
  They've got a bow whom all allow to be both STILL and strong.
  No crew can quail, or ever fail to labour with a will,
  When so much strength and spirits are supplied
      them by their STILL.
  We've done our task--to you who ask the probable result
  We more will speak, if you next week our Prophet will consult.