E W Bowling Poems >>
The Great Boat Race

1. HAWKSHAW  3rd Trinity.      5. KINGLAKE    3rd Trinity.
  2. PIGOTT    Corpus.            6. BORTHWICK    1st Trinity.
  3. WATSON    Pembroke.          7. STEAVENSON  Trinity Hall.
  4. HAWKINS    Lady Margaret.    8. SELWYN      3rd Trinity.
                    Steerer, ARCHER, Corpus.


  Come, list to me, who wish to hear the glories of our crew,
  I'll tell you all the names of those who wear the
      Cambridge Blue.
  First HAWKSHAW comes, a stalwart bow, as
      tough as oak, nay tougher;
  Look at him ye who wish to see the Antipodes to "duffer."
  Swift as the Hawk in airy flight, strong as the guardsman SHAW,
  We men of mortal muscles must contemplate him with awe.
  Though I dwell by Cam's slow river, and I hope
      am not a bigot,
  I think that Isis cannot boast a better man than PIGOTT:
  Active, and strong, and steady, and never known to shirk,
  Of Corpus the quintessence, he is always fit for work.
  The men of Thames will be amazed when they
      see our "Three" so strong,
  And doubt if such a mighty form to mortal mould belong.
  "_What son_ is this?" they, one and all, will ask
      in awe and wonder;
  The men of Cam will answer make, "A mighty son of thunder."
  Next HAWKINS comes at "number 4," the sole surviving pet
  Of the patroness of rowing, the Lady Margaret;
  When they think of his broad shoulders, and
      strong and sinewy arms,
  Nor parents dear, nor brothers stern, need foster fond alarms.
  O! a tear of love maternal in Etona's eye will quiver
  When she sees her favourate KINGLAKE also
      monarch of the river.
  Oh! that I could honour fitly in this unassuming song
  That wondrous combination of steady, long, and strong.
  Then comes a true-blue mariner from the ever-glorious "First,"
  In the golden arms of Glory and the lap of Victory nurst;
  Though blue may be his colours, there are better oarsmen few,
  And Oxford when it sees him will perhaps look still more blue.
  Then comes the son of STEPHEN, as solid as a wall;
  We need not add, who know his name, that he
      hails from Trinity Hall.
  Oh! in the race, when comes at last the struggle
      close and dire,
  May he have the wind and courage of his tutor and his sire;
  May he think of all the glories of the ribbon black and white,
  And add another jewel to the diadem so bright!
  Then comes a name which Camus and Etona know full well
  A name that's always sure to win and ne'er will prove a sell.
  O what joy will fill a Bishop's heart oft a far
      far distant shore,
  When he sees our Stroke; reviving the memories of yore!
  Then old Cam will he revisit in fancy's fairy dream,
  And rouse once more with sounding oar the slow
      and sluggish stream:
  But who is this with voice so shrill, so resolute and ready?
  Who cries so oft "too late!" "too soon!"
      "quicker forward!" "Steady, steady!"
  Why 'tis our young toxophilite, our ARCHER bold and true,
  The lightest and the tightest who has ever
      steered light-blue.
  O when he pulls the yielding string may he
      shoot both strong and straight,
  And may the night be swift and sure of his mighty arrows eight!
  May he add another victory to increase our Cambridge score;
  May Father Thames again behold the light blue to the fore!
  But ah! the name of Victory falls feebly on my ear--
  Forgive me! 'tis not cowardice that bids me shed this tear,
  I weep to think that three long years have
      looked on our defeat;
  For three long years we ne'er have known the
      taste of triumph sweet;
  O Father Cam!  O Father Thames!  O ye nymphs of Chiswick eyot!
  O Triton!  O Poseidon!  Take some, pity on our fate!
  What's the use of resolution, or of training, or of science,
  If anxious friends and relatives to our efforts bid defiance?
  If they take our strongest heroes from the middle of the boat,
  Lest exposure to the weather should result in a sore throat?
  We've rowed our boat when wave on wave o'er
      ship and crew was dashing,
  And little were we troubled by the steamers and the splashing.
  O little do the light-blues care when tempests
      round them gather,
  We'll meet the raging of the skies, but not an angry father!
  For though our vessel sank, our hearts were
      buoyant as a feather,
  Since we knew that we had done our best in
      spite of wind and weather.
  Then all ye Gods and Goddesses who rule o'er lake and river,
  O wipe away the trembling tear which in mine eye doth quiver!
  O wipe away the dire defeats that now we often suffer;
  Let not the name of Cambridge blue be
      breathed with that of "duffer!"
  O melt the hearts of governors; for who can hope to thrive,
  If, when we're just "together," they despoil us
      of our "Five?"
  And lastly, when 'mid shouts and cheers and
      screams and deafening dins,
  The two boats start upon their course--


  Dei mihi, Oxford wins!