14 September 2006

The Lay of Dervorguilla (F.S. Boas)

Sir John de Balliol is stricken sore,
And he hath but a day to live or more,
And he plans, as he thinks upon many a sin,
How the Devil to cheat and Heaven to win.
And he says to the lady that loves him true,
'Spend pounds a many or pounds a few,
Sing masses and aves, and let me be
But a very few moments in purgatory.'
O merry the days, and merry the ways,
And merry the shining siller,
Of the Balliol bold in the days of old
And the Lady Dervorguilla.

Outspake the lady who loved him true,
A very sweet dame, but a bit of a blue,
'Sir John de Balliol, alack, I trow,
Of masses and aves we've sung enow.
But a college we'll build so tall and fair,
And the Greek and the Latin will flourish there,
And the blessings of scholars will set you free
In a very few moments from purgatory.'
O merry the days, and merry the ways,
And merry the shining siller,
Of the Balliol bold in the days of old
And the Lady Dervorguilla.

The lady she rode into Oxford town
On a milk white steed, in a scholar's gown,
And she halted her horse, and she turned a sod,
And she traced the lines of the garden quad,
Till the college it rose so fair and tall,
With chapel and tower and with blazoned hall,
And its bells rang out, and its doors stood free,
To high and to low and to each degree.
O merry the days, and merry the ways,
And merry the shining siller,
Of the Balliol bold in the days of old
And the Lady Dervorguilla.

Sir John and his lady are lying low,
They have gone where the knight and his dame must go,
But the college still rises so tall and fair,
And the Greek and the Latin still flourish there,
But they've brought some friends thro' the open door,
The racquet, the bat, and the flashing oar,
And thus may they flourish, while time shall be,
Like the best of good fellows in company.
O merry the days, and merry the ways,
And merry the shining siller,
Of the Balliol bold in the days of old
And the Lady Dervorguilla.

1 comment:

Anna said...

hurra!