Duns Scotus’s Oxford

Towery city and branchy between towers;

Cuckoo-echoing, bell-swarmèd, lark charmèd, rook-racked, river-rounded;

The dapple-eared lily below thee; that country and town did

Once encounter in, here coped and poisèd powers;


Thou hast a base and brickish skirt there, sours

That neighbour-nature thy grey beauty is grounded

Best in; graceless growth, thou hast confounded

Rural, rural keeping—folk, flocks, and flowers.


Yet ah! this air I gather and I release

He lived on; these weeds and waters, these walls are what

He haunted who of all men most sways my spirits to peace;


Of realty the rarest-veinèd unraveller; a not

Rivalled insight, be rival Italy or Greece;

Who fired France for Mary without spot.