Dancing Dust

Poems by Mollie Caird (1922-2000)

Love's Labour's Lost
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When ice-cubes tinkle in the glass,
And Dick the student drinks his fill,
And does the cha-cha with his lass,
Thinking to climb home when he will,
When knees be nipped and foul the way,
Then Worcester Fellows sing this lay,
Tu-whit, tu-who,
A solemn call,
While wily Dean doth grease the wall.

When swearing drowns the climber's groans
At boughs new-lopped with Bursar's saw,
And spikes and bottle-glass make moans,
And wrists and ankles red and raw,
When he slips back who fain would stay,
The Worcester Fellows sing this lay,
Tu-whit, tu-who,
A solemn call,
While wily Dean doth grease the wall.


It was reported that the "climbing-in place" for Worcester College in Hythe Bridge Street had been covered in axle-grease.

cf  LLL act v, scene ii, 920

Oxford Times, 15 May 1964