Monday – Friday 10am-4pm, Weekends and public holidays 10am-2pm
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!