Dancing Dust

Poems by Mollie Caird (1922-2000)

Rondeau of rooks
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White-bibbed, black-gowned, the rooks are prating,
Ahead of Spring now congregating
In Mary Magdalen's sycamore;
Quiet Balliol and the traffic's roar
Both lie beneath their convocating.

Busy with building, mending, mating,
With ancient lore of rent and rating,
The city's hum the rooks ignore,
White-bibbed, black-gowned.

Beside them, dumbly imitating,
Saint Mary's golden cock, gyrating,
Swings round the wind for evermore.
The rooks look down: on Broad Street's floor
Are Proctors circumambulating,
White-bibbed, black-gowned.


Oxford Times, 5 March 1965