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The Spike: or, Victoria University College Review, June 1929

The Old Hall Clock

page 32

The Old Hall Clock

With its hands so weary and worn, with its works as heavy as lead
It hung in the Hall against the wall, and this is what it said:
"Tick—tick—tick—sometimes varied with—lock—
All day long I sing a song—I sing the song of the clock!

Work,—work—work—till my wheels begin to swim.
Work—work—work—till my beat is painful and dim.
Half-past six—then seven. Half-past seven—then eight,
Day after day I plod my way with never a second to wait.

Oh. Students with clocks of your own—and knowing not what it feels,
It's not just "Time"' you're wearing away—but little watches' wheels.
Work—work—work—midst gossip and laughter, I tock—
And still in a drone of dolorous tone—I sing the song of the clock.

At night they meet at the staircase and there by the letter-rack.
Gathering round in eager groups as close as they can pack.
They touch upon the weather, then they deal perhaps with the "'Strav."
They talk of "profs." till my mainspring coughs—Oh what a time I have!

Work—work—work—in the dull and wintry light.
And work—work—work—when the weather's warm and bright.
And always there to the open space the students steadfast cling,
A stalwart youth—on either side a shrinking, coy, young thing.

Oh. but for one short hour! A respite however brief!
No blessed leisure—just Their Loves, Their Hopes, that are my grief.
If they'd meet elsewhere—if only they'd not meet at all!
If only they'd leave me alone to rest, here on the wall in the Hall.

But no. I must keep on going—I'm wound and wound again.
(Tho' their faces change with the ages, their habits remain the same).
To drop a few tears would ease my cogs, but tearless stay I must
If my face were blotched with tears in time my works inside would rust.

During Easter the clock broke down and was quietly moved away.
And now there hangs another clock there to tick away the day.
It does not chime as the old one did—its face is not so plain,
But it has the yeast-vite feeling and is very glad it came.

"Ha—Ha—Ha"—the new one sings on the wall.
"Ha—Ha—Ha"—what fun it is here in the Hall!
The pink and fawn garbed student choking over his tea—
To keep one eye on the face of his love—while the other one's glued on me!

Oh, how I laugh when it's ten past the hour and only the die-hards remain.
Wondering when Mr. Brooks will appear—onlookers see most of the game!

With punctual hands, contented, with its face all bright and clean.
It hangs in the Hall, against the wall, a model of health serene.
At present its heart is light, its springs work well for they're new.
But those who saw the other clock know—what society life will do!