The mist hangs round the College tower,
The ghostly street
Is silent at this midnight hour,
Save for my feet.
With none to see, with none to hear,
Downward I go
To where, beside the rugged pier,
The sea sings low.
It sings a tune well loved and known
In days gone by,
When often here, and not alone,
I watched the sky.
That was a barren time at best,
Its fruits were few;
But fruits and flowers had keener zest
And fresher hue.
Life has not since been wholly vain,
And now I bear
Of wisdom plucked from joy and pain
Some slender share.
But, howsoever rich the store,
I'd lay it down,
To feel upon my back once more
The old red gown.