Tuesday, October 15, 2013


Greek at Cambridge

Anonymous, "Greek at Cambridge," Punch (November 27, 1880), p. 251:
Shades of PORSON and of BENTLEY! did you hover in the air
O'er the Senate House in Cambridge when the Dons were gathered there?
Did you hear the strange proposal to give up Hellenic lore,
That the ancient home of Scholars should produce them nevermore?
Did the angry flash come mounting to each spirit's classic cheek
When utilitarian monsters wanted to abolish Greek?
   Will the schoolboy of the future never hear of ὁ, ἡ, τὸ,
Shall the memories of τύπτω vanish like a dream of woe,
HOMER, PLATO be abandoned, while the youthful mind we drench
With philosophies Teutonic and the follies of the French?
No! The ancient halls were faithful to the old traditions still,
And the Syndicate that threatened could not work its wicked will.
Greek must aye be learnt at Cambridge ere you take an Arts degree,
Until Cam's Plutonian waters slide no longer to the sea!

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