Saturday, 27 September 2014

Alice in Oxford

Walking round Oxford on a beautiful September day the warm creamy gold of the Oxford stone buildings bathed in the mellow early Autumn sunshine you can't help but think of all the hopes and dreams that take place among those dreaming spires. A whole new set of students are about to embark on an intense and important adventure. Posters advertising Freshers' parties abound.
Nearing Christchurch college there is soon a reminder that Lewis Carroll wrote Alice in Wonderland in Oxford. He was a lecturer at Christchurch college and would have wandered around the beautiful gardens and meadows leading down to the river. Even today you can easily see
 a young girl or two propped against a tree lost in a reverie or a gnarled tree trunk with entrances below ground perfect for a rabbit to run down calling out'I'll be late!'near its base. Lewis Carroll's story of Alice has delighted many generations of children the world over and still enthralls. Now Christchurch college is also famous for having a dining hall that was used in the Harry Potter films. If you ask the porter if you can see Harry Potter's dining hall he may gravely inform you that they refer to it as simply The dining hall.
On this lovely September afternoon my poem for the day is from Alice in Wonderland and is dedicated to all those hopeful students past and present and their dreams.

A boat, beneath a sunny sky
Lingering onward dreamily
In an evening of July -

Children three that nestle near,
Eager eye and willing ear,
Pleased a simple tale to hear -

Long has paled that sunny day:
Echoes fade and memories die:
Autumn frosts have slain July.

Still she haunts me, phantomwise,
Alice moving under skies
Never seen by waking eyes

Children yet, the tale to hear,
Eager eye and willinv ear,
Lovingly shall nestle near.

In a Wonderland they lie,
Dreaming as the days go by,
Dreaming  as the summers die:

Ever drifting down the stream-
Lingering in the golden gleam -
Life, what is it but a dream?

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