Till Twiston Went

by Christopher Morley

Christopher Morley

Till Twiston went, the war still seemed
A far-off thing: a nightmare dreamed,
Some bruit or fable half-believed,
Too hideous to be conceived.

His letter came: the memories throng
Of days that made the friendship strong--
The oar he won, the ties he wore,
His love of china, fairy lore,
(And flappers); and his honest eyes;
His stammer, his absurdities;
His marmalade, his bitter beer,
And all that made him quaint and dear.

And though we muckle have to do
Yet love must needs come breaking through,
And now and then the office hum
Dies like a mist, ... and there will come
An Oxford breakfast scene: the quad
All blue and grey outside--O God--
And there sits Twiston at the feast
Proclaiming he will be a priest!
I see his eyes, his homely neb--
Ring, telephones, and cut the web!

And when it's over, will there be
In his grey house above the Dee
A mug to drain? Will we renew
The dreams of all we hoped to do?
Our Cotswold tramps? And will there still
Be flappers in the surf at Rhyl?
O how I counted on the hour
When he would see the Woolworth Tower,
And how we set our hearts upon
The steep grey walls of Carcassonne!

Last updated November 04, 2022