Verse > Anthologies > George Herbert Clarke, ed. > A Treasury of War Poetry
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George Herbert Clarke, ed. (1873–1953).  A Treasury of War Poetry.  1917.
 
44. The Spires of Oxford
 
By Winifred M. Letts
 
 
I SAW the spires of Oxford
  As I was passing by,
The gray spires of Oxford
  Against the pearl-gray sky.
My heart was with the Oxford men        5
  Who went abroad to die.
 
The years go fast in Oxford,
  The golden years and gay,
The hoary Colleges look down
  On careless boys at play.        10
But when the bugles sounded war
  They put their games away.
 
They left the peaceful river,
  The cricket-field, the quad,
The shaven lawns of Oxford,        15
  To seek a bloody sod—
They gave their merry youth away
  For country and for God.
 
God rest you, happy gentlemen,
  Who laid your good lives down,        20
Who took the khaki and the gun
  Instead of cap and gown.
God bring you to a fairer place
  Than even Oxford town.
 

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