Reflections Of A Magistrand. On Returning To St. Andrews Poem Rhyme Scheme and Analysis


In the hard familiar horse box I am sitting once againA
Creeping back to old St Andrews comes the slow North British trainB
Bearing bejants with their luggage boxes full of heavy booksC
Which the porter hot and tipless eyes with unforgiving looksC
Bearing third year men and second bearing them and bearing meD
Who am now a fourth year magnate with two parts of my degreeD
We have started off from Leuchars and my thoughts have started tooE
Back to times when this sensation was entirely fresh and newE
When I marvelled at the towers beyond the Eden's wide expanseF
Eager hearted as a boy when first he leaves his father's manseF
With some money in his pocket with some down upon his cheekG
With the elements of Latin with the rudiments of GreekG
And his spirit leaps within him to be gone before him thenA
Underneath the towers he looks at in among the throngs of menA
Men from Fife and men from Forfar from the High School of DundeeD
Ten or twelve from other counties and from England two or threeD
Oh the Bursary Competition oh the wonder and the rageH
When I saw my name omitted from the schedule in the cageH
Grief is strong but youth elastic and I rallied from the blowI
For I felt that there were few things in the world I did not knowI
Then my ready made opinions upon all things under heavenJ
I declaimed with sound and fury to an audience of elevenJ
Gathered in the Logic class room sworn to settle the debateK
Does the Stage upon the whole demoralise or elevateK
This and other joys I tasted I became a VolunteerL
Murmuring Dulce et decorum in the Battery Sergeant's earM
Joined the Golf Club and with others of an afternoon was seenN
Vainly searching in the whins or foozling on the putting greenN
Took a minor part in Readings lifted up my voice and sangO
At the Musical rehearsals till the class room rafters rangO
Wrote long poems for the Column entered for the S R CD
And if I remember rightly was thrown out by twenty threeD
Ground a little for my classes till the hour of nine or tenA
When I read a decent novel or went out to see some menA
So I reaped the large experience which has made me what I amP
Far removed from bejanthood as is St Andrews from SiamP
But with age and with experience disenchantment comes to allQ
Even pleasure on the keenest appetite at last will pallR
Had I now a hundred pounds a hundred pounds would I bestowI
To enjoy the loud solatium as I did three years agoI
When the songs were less familiar less familiar too the piesF
And I did not mind receiving orange peel between the eyesF
Yet in spite of disenchantment and in spite of finding outS
There are some things in the world that I am hardly sure aboutS
Still sufficient of illusion and inexplicable graceF
Hangs about the grey old town to make it a delightful placeF
Though solatiums charm no longer though a gaudeamus failsF
With its atmosphere unwholesome to expand my spirit's sailsF
Though rectorial elections are if anything a boreT
And I do not care to carry dripping torches any moreT
Though my soul for Moral lectures does not vehemently yearnU
Though the north east winds are bitter I am willing to returnU
At this point in my reflections on the left the Links expandV
Many a whin bush full of prickles many a bunker full of sandV
And I see distinguished club men whom I only know by sightW
Old obese and scarlet coated playing golf with all their mightW
As they were three years ago when first I travelled by this trainB
As they will be three years hence if I should come this way againA
What to them is train or traveller what to them the flight of timeX
But we draw too near the station to indulge in the sublimeX
In a minute at the furthest on the platform I shall standV
Waiting till they take my trunk out with my hat box in my handV
As the railway train approaches and the train of thought recedesF
I behold Professor in a brand new suit of tweedsF

Robert Fuller Murray


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