Ode on a College Feast Day

Communicated by Mr Vignoles


Hark! heard ye not yon footsteps dread,
That shook the hall with thundering tread?
  With eager haste
  The fellows passed;
 Each intent on direful work,
High lifts his mighty blade, and points his deadly fork.


But hark! the portals sound, and pacing forth,
  With steps, alas! too slow,
The college gyps, of high illustrious worth,
  With all the dishes in long order go:
 In the midst, a form divine
 Appears the fam’d sirloin;
And soon with plums and glory crown’d
Almighty pudding sheds its sweets around.
 Heard you the din of dinner bray?
  Knife to fork, and fork to knife;
  Unnumber’d heroes in the glorious strife,
Thro’ fish, flesh, pies, and puddings, cut their destin’d way.


See beneath the mighty blade,
 Gor’d with many a ghastly wound,
Low the fam’d sirloin is laid,
 And sinks in many a gulf profound.
  Arise, arise ye sons of glory,
  Pies and puddings standing before ye:
  See the ghosts of hungry bellies
  Point a yonder stand of jellies;
  While such dainties are beside ye,
  Snatch the goods the gods provide ye;
  Mighty rulers of the state,
  Snatch before it is too late:
For swift as thought the pudding, jellies, pies,
Contract their giant bulks, and shrink to pygmy size.


From the table now retreating,
 All around the fire they meet,
And with wine, the sons of eating
 Crown at length their mighty treat:
Triumphant plenty’s rosy graces
Sparkle in their jolly faces;
And mirth and cheerfulness are seen
In each countenance serene.

 Fill high the sparkling glass,
  And drink th’ accustomed toast;
  Drink deep ye mighty host,
 And let the bottle pass.
 Begin, begin the jovial strain,
  Fill, fill the mystic bowl,
 And drink, and drink, and drink again,
 For drinking fires the soul.

But soon, too soon with one accord they reel,
 Each on his seat begins to nod,
All conqu’ring Bacchus’ power they feel,
 And pour libations to the jolly god.
At length with dinner and with wine oppressed,
Down in the chairs they sink, and give themselves to rest.