outhful Oxford

Crumbling stones of college towers inspire youth in leafy bowers.

Oxford, May 30, 1820

— by William Wordsworth

Ye sacred nurseries of blooming youth! In whose collegiate shelter England’s Flowers Expand, enjoying through their vernal hours The air of liberty, the light of truth; Much have ye suffered from Time’s gnawing tooth, Yet, O ye Spires of Oxford! domes and towers! Gardens and groves! your presence overpowers The soberness of reason; till, in sooth, Transformed, and rushing on a bold exchange, I slight my own beloved Cam, to range Where silver Isis leads my stripling feet; Pace the long avenue, or glide adown The stream-like windings of that glorious street— An eager Novice robed in fluttering gown!