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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 21 pages of information about Green Bays. Verses and Parodies.

[1] Suggested by an Article in the Quarterly Review, enforcing the unity of literature ancient and modern, and the necessity of providing a new School of Literature in Oxford.

FIRE!

By Sir W. S.

Written on the occasion of the visit of the United Fire Brigades to Oxford, 1887.

I.

     St. Giles’s street is fair and wide,
        St. Giles’s street is long;
     But long or wide, may naught abide
        Therein of guile or wrong;
     For through St. Giles’s, to and fro,
     The mild ecclesiastics go
        From prime to evensong. 
     It were a fearsome task, perdie! 
     To sin in such good company.

II.

     Long had the slanting beam of day
     Proclaimed the Thirtieth of May
     Ere now, erect, its fiery heat
     Illumined all that hallowed street,
     And breathing benediction on
     Thy serried battlements, St. John,
     Suffused at once with equal glow
     The cluster’d Archipelago,
     The Art Professor’s studio
        And Mr. Greenwood’s shop,
     Thy building, Pusey, where below
     The stout Salvation soldiers blow
        The cornet till they drop;
     Thine, Balliol, where we move, and oh! 
        Thine, Randolph, where we stop.

III.

     But what is this that frights the air,
     And wakes the curate from his lair
        In Pusey’s cool retreat,
     To leave the feast, to climb the stair,
        And scan the startled street? 
     As when perambulate the young
     And call with unrelenting tongue
        On home, mamma, and sire;
     Or voters shout with strength of lung
        For Hall & Co’s Entire;
     Or Sabbath-breakers scream and shout—­
     The band of Booth, with drum devout,
     Eliza on her Sunday out,
        Or Farmer with his choir:—­

IV.

     E’en so, with shriek of fife and drum
        And horrid clang of brass,
     The Fire Brigades of England come
        And down St. Giles’s pass. 
     Oh grand, methinks, in such array
     To spend a Whitsun Holiday
        All soaking to the skin! 
    (Yet shoes and hose alike are stout;
     The shoes to keep the water out,
        The hose to keep it in.)

V.

     They came from Henley on the Thames,
        From Berwick on the Tweed,
     And at the mercy of the flames
     They left their children and their dames,
     To come and play their little games
        On Morrell’s dewy mead. 
     Yet feared they not with fire to play—­
     The pyrotechnics (so they say)
        Were very fine indeed.

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