Charades V

Charles Stuart Calverley

On pinnacled St. Mary's
   Lingers the setting sun;
Into the street the blackguards
   Are skulking one by one:
Butcher and Boots and Bargeman
   Lay pipe and pewter down;
And with wild shout come tumbling out
   To join the Town and Gown.

And now the undergraduates
   Come forth by twos and threes,
From the broad tower of Trinity,
   From the green gate of Caius:
The wily bargeman marks them,
   And swears to do his worst;
To turn to impotence their strength,
   And their beauty to MY FIRST.

But before Corpus gateway
   MY SECOND first arose,
When Barnacles the freshman
   Was pinned upon the nose:
Pinned on the nose by Boxer,
   Who brought a hobnailed herd
From Barnwell, where he kept a van,
Being indeed a dogsmeat man,
Vendor of terriers, blue or tan,
   And dealer in MY THIRD.

'Twere long to tell how Boxer
   Was 'countered' on the cheek,
And knocked into the middle
   Of the ensuing week:
How Barnacles the Freshman
   Was asked his name and college;
And how he did the fatal facts
   Reluctantly acknowledge.

He called upon the Proctor
   Next day at half-past ten;
Men whispered that the Freshman cut
   A different figure then:-
That the brass forsook his forehead,
   The iron fled his soul,
As with blanched lip and visage wan
Before the stony-hearted Don
   He kneeled upon MY WHOLE.