I miss the England of my youth;
The cobbled lanes, the dry-stone walls.
The cloister-bordered green-square quads;
The ancient high-arched oak-beamed halls.
The cap, the gown, the antique bike.
The Turl, the Broad, the river dells.
The soaring spire of S’Mary’s church.
The ‘magnificent din’ of distant bells.
The washing lines; crimped with pegs
The frost-white flapping sheet.
That special part of river-ways
Where Thames, and Cherwell, meet.
The wit, the spark, of youthful minds
Shaped by wisdom’s tutor hand.
The books, the labs, the endless talk
That filled this intellectual land.
My mind has not, before, or since,
On spreading wings all knowledge sought.
In urgent haste, with unslaked thirst,
I trod the bounds of magic thought.