The Old VicarageGrantchesterJust now the lilac is in bloom,All before my little room;And in my flower-beds, I think,Smile the carnation and the pink;And down the borders, well I know,The poppy and the pansy blow ...Oh! there the chestnuts, summer through,Beside the river make for youA tunnel of green gloom, and sleepDeeply above; and green and deepThe stream mysterious glides beneath,Green as a dream and deep as death.— Oh, damn! I know it! and I knowHow the May fields all golden show,And when the day is young and sweet,Gild gloriously the bare feetThat run to bathe ... Du lieber Gott!Here am I, sweating, sick, and hot,And there the shadowed waters freshLean up to embrace the naked flesh.Temperamentvoll German JewsDrink beer around; — and there the dewsAre soft beneath a morn of gold.Here tulips bloom as they are told;Unkempt about those hedges blowsAn English unofficial rose;And there the unregulated sunSlopes down to rest when day is done,And wakes a vague unpunctual star,A slippered Hesper; and there areMeads towards Haslingfield and CotonWhere das Betreten’s not verboten.eithe genoimen ... would I wereIn Grantchester, in Grantchester! —Some, it may be, can get in touchWith Nature there, or Earth, or such.And clever modern men have seenA Faun a-peeping through the green,And felt the Classics were not dead,To glimpse a Naiad’s reedy head,Or hear the Goat-foot piping low: ...But these are things I do not know.I only know that you may lieDay long and watch the Cambridge sky,And, flower-lulled in sleepy grass,Hear the cool lapse of hours pass,Until the centuries blend and blurIn Grantchester, in Grantchester. ...Still in the dawnlit waters coolHis ghostly Lordship swims his pool,And tries the strokes, essays the tricks,Long learnt on Hellespont, or Styx.Dan Chaucer hears his river stillChatter beneath a phantom mill.Tennyson notes, with studious eye,How Cambridge waters hurry by ...And in that garden, black and white,Creep whispers through the grass all night;And spectral dance, before the dawn,A hundred Vicars down the lawn;Curates, long dust, will come and goOn lissom, clerical, printless toe;And oft between the boughs is seenThe sly shade of a Rural Dean ...Till, at a shiver in the skies,Vanishing the Satanic cries,The prim ecclesiastic routLeaves but a startled sleeper-out,Grey heavens, the first bird’s drowsy calls,The falling house that never falls.God! I will pack, and take a train,And get me to England once again!For England’s the one land, I know,Where men with Splendid Hearts may go;And Cambridgeshire, of all England,The shire for Men who Understand;And of that district I preferThe lovely hamlet Grantchester.For Cambridge people rarely smile,Being urban, squat, and packed with guile;And Royston men in the far SouthAre black and fierce and strange of mouth;At Over they fling oaths at one,And worse than oaths at Trumpington,And Ditton girls are mean and dirty,And there’s none in Harston under thirty,And folks in Shelford and those partsHave twisted lips and twisted hearts,And Barton men make Cockney rhymes,And Coton’s full of nameless crimes,And things are done you’d not believeAt Madingley, on Christmas Eve.Strong men have run for miles and miles,When one from Cherry Hinton smiles;Strong men have blanched, and shot their wives,Rather than send them to St. Ives;Strong men have cried like babes, bydam,To hear what happened at Babraham.But Grantchester! ah, Grantchester!There’s peace and holy quiet there,Great clouds along pacific skies,And men and women with straight eyes,Lithe children lovelier than a dream,A bosky wood, a slumbrous stream,And little kindly winds that creepRound twilight corners, half asleep.In Grantchester their skins are white;They bathe by day, they bathe by night;The women there do all they ought;The men observe the Rules of Thought.They love the Good; they worship Truth;They laugh uproariously in youth;(And when they get to feeling old,They up and shoot themselves, I’m told) ...Ah God! to see the branches stirAcross the moon at Grantchester!To smell the thrilling-sweet and rottenUnforgettable, unforgottenRiver-smell, and hear the breezeSobbing in the little trees.Say, do the elm-clumps greatly standStill guardians of that holy land?The chestnuts shade, in reverend dream,The yet unacademic stream?Is dawn a secret shy and coldAnadyomene, silver-gold?And sunset still a golden seaFrom Haslingfield to Madingley?And after, ere the night is born,Do hares come out about the corn?Oh, is the water sweet and cool,Gentle and brown, above the pool?And laughs the immortal river stillUnder the mill, under the mill?Say, is there Beauty yet to find?And Certainty? and Quiet kind?Deep meadows yet, for to forgetThe lies, and truths, and pain? ... oh! yetStands the Church clock at ten to three?And is there honey still for tea?