To The Reader Of 'University Notes'

A poem by Robert Fuller Murray

Ah yes, we know what you're saying,
As your eye glances over these Notes:
'What asses are these that are braying
With flat and unmusical throats?
Who writes such unspeakable patter?
Is it lunatics, idiots--or who?'
And you think there is 'something the matter.'
Well, we think so too.

We have sat, full of sickness and sorrow,
As the hours dragged heavily on,
Till the midnight has merged into morrow,
And the darkness is going or gone.
We are Editors. Give us the credit
Of meaning to do what we could;
But, since there is nothing to edit,
It isn't much good.

Once we shared the delightful delusion
That to edit was racy and rare,
But we suffered a sad disillusion,
And we found that our castles were air;
We had decked them with carvings and gildings,
We had filled them with laughter and fun,
But all of a sudden the buildings
Came down with a run.

Not a trace was there left of the carving,
And the gilding had vanished from sight;
But the 'column' for matter was starving,
And we had not to edit--but write.
So we set to and wrote. Can you wonder,
If the writing was feeble or dead?
We had started as editors--Thunder!
We were authors instead.

We'd mistaken our calling, election,
Vocation, department, and use;
We had thought that our task was selection,
And we found that we had to produce.
So we sigh for release from our labours,
We pray for a happy despatch,
We will take our last leave of our neighbours,
And then--Colney Hatch.

We are singing this dolorous ditty
As we part at the foot of the stairs;
We cannot but think it's a pity,
But what matter? there's nobody cares.
Our candle burns low in its socket,
There is nothing left but the wick;
And these Notes, that went up like a rocket,
Come down like the stick.

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