The Spires of Oxford

(1917) by Winifred Mary 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 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, 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 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, Who took the khaki and the gun Instead of cap and gown. God bring you to a fairer place Than even Oxford town.