Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > The Book of Restoration Verse
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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed.  The Book of Restoration Verse.  1910.
 
Upon Tom of Christ Church, Oxford
By John Cleveland (1613–1658) (?)
 
THOU 1 that by ruin dost repair
  And by destruction art a founder,
Whose art doth tell us what men are,
  Who by corruption shall rise sounder,
    In this fierce fire’s intensive heat        5
    Remember this is Tom the Great.
 
And Cyclops think at every stroke,
  Which with thy sledge his side shall wound,
That then some statute thou hast broke
  Which long depended on his sound,        10
    And that our college gates did cry
    They were not shut since Tom did die.
 
Think what a scourge ’tis to the city
  To drink and swear by Carfax bell
Which, bellowing without tune or pity,        15
  The days and nights divides not well.
    But the poor tradesman must give o’er
    His ale at eight or sit till four.
 
We all in haste drink off our wine
  As if we never should drink more,        20
So that the reckoning after nine
  Is larger now than that before.
    Release this tongue which erst could say
    ‘Home, scholars; Drawer, what’s to pay?’
 
So thou of order shall be founder,        25
  Making a ruler for the people,
One that shall ring thy praises wonder
  Than the other six bells in the steeple.
    Wherefore think, when Tom is running
    Our manners wait upon thy cunning.        30
 
Then let him raisèd be from ground,
The same in number, weight, and sound.
So may thy conscience rule thy gain,
Or, would thy theft might be thy bane!
 
Note 1. Mr. Berdan in his edition of the Poems of John Cleveland, 1903, thinks this poem was “probably written by an Oxford man.” It does not appear in any of the editions of Cleveland’s works except Cleaveland Revived. Dr. Arber prints it in his Milton Anthology, where he attributes it to Cleveland. [back]
 
 
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