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The Spike or Victoria University College Review Silver Jubilee 1924

Tempus Abire

Tempus Abire

Tempus abire tibi est, ne
Rideat et pulset lasciva decentius aetas.

Tempus abire tibi est,
So say the Latin sages,
But ere you pass towards the West
Look back and see who leads the quest
Along the newer ages.

Look back and see who pipes the tune
And who are now the dancers;
And if the floor is gaily set
For graceful waltz and minuet,
Or noisy kitchen lancers.

Look back and see who takes the field,
If hand is sure and steady,
If swiftest line and heaviest pack
Will find him safe against attack,
Or frequently unready.

Look back and see if in those walls
You helped to build, and cherish,
Truth walks with courage, sword by sword,
Or both before some overlord
Fall down and feebly perish.

And if to meet this questing look
You cast from eve that's weary,
You find a tale that's good to tell,
Pass on, old man, all's well, all's well,
Nunc tempus est abire.
* * * *

I've gone and made a moral song,
Of transcendental beauty,
A thing I usen't to, and hence
Corroborative evidence
De mea senectute.