Manuscripts and Special Collections

Ode to the Nottingham University College

June 30th, 2011 at 12:06

The 30th of June 2011 marks the 130th anniversary of the opening of University College, Nottingham. This is part of a series of blogs as taken from the Nottingham and Midland Counties Daily Express, which recorded the events of the day.

This poem, of typically Victorian artistic merit, was printed in the Nottingham and Midland Counties Daily Express, on Friday 1st July 1881 to mark the opening of the new University College in Nottingham by Prince Leopold. It was written by W.H. Parker of Radford Road, New Basford.

Majestic pile! which like our Castle, rears
A monument to arts which time reveres:
Fling wide your door, unlocked by Royal hand,
And let a strain of lore flow through the land,
Which shall revere the follies of the proud
And give refinement to the vulgar crowd.

How well the fame of our historic town
Becomes the seat of learning and renown,
Where Ward receives his dying civic wreath,
And men of genius their bright names bequeath!
Here Byron, White, and Bailey sang to men,
While Miller plied his osier and his pen.
Here Dawson weaved a fabric at his loom
Which lately spread a glory o’er his tomb,
And veils in worth the gems which now adorn
Our halls in token of a genius born.

Where gifted minds have caught the native fire
Of living canvas or responsive lyre,
Give meek philosophy a quiet nook,
And let her open here her pond’rous book.
The crocus’d meadow and the primrose’d wood,
The shady grove and river’s winding flood
May inspiration give to some young White,
Whose taper shall have touched this broader light,
And over thought may come a brilliant ray
Shot from the key our Prince shall turn to-day.

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