Collegia – Ode 83: The Saturdays of college


(Apologies to Thomas Campbell)

Ye clarinet of Hubert
That sounds its As and Cs,
Whose bell had blared a thousand times
At balls and dancing sprees.
With vigour, Rennie, twang again
The strings of your banjo;
And sweep as they leap
While the dancers come and go!
While the side-drum rattles loud and long
As Wilf aims the rhythmic blow.

While Chivers, noble Frankie,
His trombone blows with zest;
Oh, the dais it is our throne of fame
As we give the crowd no rest.
Where Dick with mighty cornet tongues
Our hearts shall manly glow;
And we sweep as they leap,
While the dancers come and go!
And the cymbals clash, likewise the gongs,
On the Saturdays we know.

The piano needs no stalwarts
Its ivory keys to sweep,
While Bill is sitting on the stool
His hands the octaves leap.
With thunders from her sounding oak
He swells the chords below:
As they pour on the floor
And the dancers come and go!
Oh, the spotlight gleams and bright eyes glow
And the oldsters puff and blow.

The minstrel band of College
Their weekly pittance earn,
Till Saturday’s dancing night depart
And Sunday’s morn return.
Then, then, ye dance band artists
Our midnight feasts shall flow.
And the fame of our name,
When the lights have ceased to glow,
Will remain when the sound is heard no more,
And the weeds on College grow!

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