To Pembroke College
FULL often, with a cloud about me shed
Of phantoms numberless, I have alone
Wander'd in Ancient Oxford marvelling:
Calling the storied stone to yield its dead:
And I have seen the sunlight richly thrown
On spire and patient turret, conjuring
Old glass to marlèd beauty with its kiss,
And making blossom all the foison sown
Through lapsèd years. I've felt the deeper bliss
Of eve calm-brooding o'er her lovèd care,
And tingeing her one all-embosoming tone.
And I have dream'd on thee, thou college fair.
Dearest to me of all, until I seem'd
Sunk in the very substance that I dream'd.
And oh! methought that this whole edifice,
Forg'd in the spirit and the fires that burn
Out of that past of splendent histories,
Up-towering yet, fresh potency might learn,
And to new summits turn,
Vaunting the banner still of what hath been and is.
Robert W. Sterling. The Poems of Robert W. Sterling. London: Humphrey Milford, 1915.