Dancing Dust

Poems by Mollie Caird (1922-2000)

Merton Cobbles

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If they take the cobbles from Merton Street
The traffic will filter down
Magpie and Kybald and Logic Lane,
The prettiest streets in town;
White doves will rise from the garden cote
In a flutter of fan-tailed fright,
And the Chapel's great east window
Will shatter like coloured light.
Beam Hall will rock and tremble,
The little houses shake
As the vans dash round by Oriel Square,
And all for progress' sake.
It's delicate treading on cobbles,
Just like walking on eggs,
No work for wheels or engines,
But some of us still have legs.
When they take the Merton cobbles
One more fort will fall
To the noisy stinking Enemy
Who's out to destroy us all.

There was a short-lived proposal to tarmac over the cobbles.

Oxford Times, 4 October 1963