The Old Vicarage, Grantchester Poem Rhyme Scheme and Analysis


Just now the lilac is in bloomA
All before my little roomA
And in my flower beds I thinkB
Smile the carnation and the pinkB
And down the borders well I knowC
The poppy and the pansy blowC
Oh there the chestnuts summer throughD
Beside the river make for youD
A tunnel of green gloom and sleepE
Deeply above and green and deepE
The stream mysterious glides beneathF
Green as a dream and deep as deathG
Oh damn I know it and I knowC
How the May fields all golden showC
And when the day is young and sweetH
Gild gloriously the bare feetH
That run to batheI
'Du lieber Gott 'J
Here am I sweating sick and hotK
And there the shadowed waters freshL
Lean up to embrace the naked fleshL
Temperamentvoll German JewsM
Drink beer around and THERE the dewsM
Are soft beneath a morn of goldN
Here tulips bloom as they are toldN
Unkempt about those hedges blowsO
An English unofficial roseO
And there the unregulated sunP
Slopes down to rest when day is doneP
And wakes a vague unpunctual starQ
A slippered Hesper and there areQ
Meads towards Haslingfield and CotonP
Where das Betreten's not verbotenP
ei' qe genoi mhn would I wereR
In Grantchester in GrantchesterR
Some it may be can get in touchS
With Nature there or Earth or suchS
And clever modern men have seenP
A Faun a peeping through the greenP
And felt the Classics were not deadT
To glimpse a Naiad's reedy headT
Or hear the Goat foot piping lowC
But these are things I do not knowC
I only know that you may lieU
Day long and watch the Cambridge skyU
And flower lulled in sleepy grassV
Hear the cool lapse of hours passV
Until the centuries blend and blurR
In Grantchester in GrantchesterR
Still in the dawnlit waters coolW
His ghostly Lordship swims his poolW
And tries the strokes essays the tricksX
Long learnt on Hellespont or StyxX
Dan Chaucer hears his river stillY
Chatter beneath a phantom millY
Tennyson notes with studious eyeU
How Cambridge waters hurry byU
And in that garden black and whiteZ
Creep whispers through the grass all nightZ
And spectral dance before the dawnP
A hundred Vicars down the lawnP
Curates long dust will come and goC
On lissom clerical printless toeC
And oft between the boughs is seenP
The sly shade of a Rural DeanP
Till at a shiver in the skiesA2
Vanishing with Satanic criesA2
The prim ecclesiastic routB2
Leaves but a startled sleeper outB2
Grey heavens the first bird's drowsy callsC2
The falling house that never fallsC2
God I will pack and take a trainP
And get me to England once againP
For England's the one land I knowC
Where men with Splendid Hearts may goC
And Cambridgeshire of all EnglandD2
The shire for Men who UnderstandE2
And of THAT district I preferR
The lovely hamlet GrantchesterR
For Cambridge people rarely smileF2
Being urban squat and packed with guileF2
And Royston men in the far SouthG2
Are black and fierce and strange of mouthG2
At Over they fling oaths at oneP
And worse than oaths at TrumpingtonP
And Ditton girls are mean and dirtyH2
And there's none in Harston under thirtyH2
And folks in Shelford and those partsI2
Have twisted lips and twisted heartsI2
And Barton men make Cockney rhymesJ2
And Coton's full of nameless crimesJ2
And things are done you'd not believeK2
At Madingley on Christmas EveK2
Strong men have run for miles and milesL2
When one from Cherry Hinton smilesL2
Strong men have blanched and shot their wivesM2
Rather than send them to St IvesM2
Strong men have cried like babes bydamA
To hear what happened at BabrahamA
But Grantchester ah GrantchesterR
There's peace and holy quiet thereR
Great clouds along pacific skiesA2
And men and women with straight eyesA2
Lithe children lovelier than a dreamA
A bosky wood a slumbrous streamA
And little kindly winds that creepE
Round twilight corners half asleepE
In Grantchester their skins are whiteZ
They bathe by day they bathe by nightZ
The women there do all they oughtN2
The men observe the Rules of ThoughtN2
They love the Good they worship TruthO2
They laugh uproariously in youthO2
And when they get to feeling oldN
They up and shoot themselves I'm toldN
Ah God to see the branches stirR
Across the moon at GrantchesterR
To smell the thrilling sweet and rottenP
Unforgettable unforgottenP
River smell and hear the breezeP2
Sobbing in the little treesP2
Say do the elm clumps greatly standE2
Still guardians of that holy landE2
The chestnuts shade in reverend dreamA
The yet unacademic streamA
Is dawn a secret shy and coldN
Anadyomene silver goldN
And sunset still a golden seaH2
From Haslingfield to MadingleyF2
And after ere the night is bornP
Do hares come out about the cornP
Oh is the water sweet and coolF2
Gentle and brown above the poolF2
And laughs the immortal river stillF2
Under the mill under the millF2
Say is there Beauty yet to findQ2
And Certainty and Quiet kindQ2
Deep meadows yet for to forgetR2
The lies and truths and pain oh yetR2
Stands the Church clock at ten to threeH2
And is there honey still for teaH2

Rupert Brooke


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