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Our Cambridge Collection has changing exhibitions about Cambridge. Much of our collection is in storage to ensure its preservation for future generations.
The Charms of Cambridge
by G.M. Te Pahu – 13 November 1923
Exquisite and sweet, on an old rustic seat
At the Domain, in Cambridge, at nine,
Sat a young maid, in beauty arrayed –
A picture – simply devine!
I strolled round the green, and admired the scene,
Which filled my soul with delight;
But my thoughts again strayed to that handsome young maid
That I’d seen on a seat by the right.
Happiness is such an ephemeral flower,
And life’s so fully of gloom,
That before leaving the Domain, I must see once again
This rosebud, almost in bloom.
She was there all alone, like a queen on a throne,
As I wended my way to the street;
And by the merest of chance, as I gave her a glance,
She had dropped a jewel at her feet.
I walked firm and bold and picked up the gold,
Which lay on the path near her shoe.
Said I: “Pardon me, Miss, in handing you this!”
As the treasure I brought to view.
“Oh! thank you!” she said, as she drooped her fair head,
And spoke like one in a trance;
“This trinket I prize, was from one who now lies,
In Paschendale – somewhere in France.”
My heart gave a throb, as I heard a faint sob,
From this lily, crestfallen, but true;
I thought: ‘What devotion to one o’er the ocean,’
As I gazed in those eyes of blue.
What a change in an hour, poor crumpled-up flower!
The bloom had gone from the rye –
I said: “It grieves me, my dear Miss to see you like this,
With a dew-drop (a tear) in your eye.”
She let her hand linger, with a ring on her finger,
In mine as I bade her “Adieu!”
Then, with a queenly grace, and a smile on her face,
She bowed, and I softly withdrew.
Was it that gleam in her eye? Was it a faint little sigh?
Or was it a voice from the regions above.
That made my heart yearn and once again turn
To this vision of the Goddess of Love?
This dear old romance of a trinket from France
Will be mem’ries to me through my life –
A short year has flown, and I claim for my own,
This bowling green queen for my wife!