An Oxford Idyll

Thomas Edward Brown

AH little mill, you're rumbling still,
Ah sunset flecked with gold !
Ah deepening tinge, ah purple fringe
Of lilac as of old!
Ah hawthorn hedge, ah light-won pledge
Of kisses warm and plenty,
When she was true, and twenty-two,
And I was two-and-twenty.
I don't know how she broke her vow —
She said that I was "horty"
And there's the mill a goin' still,
And I am five-and-forty.
And sooth to tell, 'twas just as well,
Her aitches were uncertain ;
Her ways though nice, not point-device ;
Her father liked his " Burton."
But there's a place you cannot trace,
So spare the fond endeavour—
A cloudless sky, where Kate and I
Are twenty-two for ever.

A poem perhaps not so much about the place itself (though it captures the beauty of a summer Oxford) as about the wonderful aura of light and nostalgia that surrounds such historic University Towns - and the endless procession of carefree, love-struck youth that passes through.

Burton is a local (and very good) Oxford ale.