The Cambridge University Boat of 1860.

In accordance with a custom established for some years past, the following
lines were written, by request, before the event of the contest. Whether they
had a Tyrtæan effect may be doubted : their prophetic attributes cannot be
denied. The allusions are of a local nature, but the general interest excited by
the race may justify their insertion. It may be well to remind our readers of the
names of the oarsmen, and their position in the boat.
1. S. Heathcote, Trinity.
2. H. J. Chaytor, Jesus.
3. D. Ingles, Trinity.
4. J. S. Blake, Corpus.
5. M. Coventry, Trinity Hall.
6. B. N. Cherry, Clare.
7. A. H. Fairbairn, Trinity.
8. J. Hall, Magdalene.
J. T. Morland, Trinity,
Some twenty years back, o’er his nectar one day,1
King Jove to the gods in Olympus did say :—2
Degenerate mortals, it must be confessed,3
Grow smaller each year round the arm and the chest.4
Not ten modern navvies together could swing5
The stone that great Ajax unaided did fling.6
They may talk of their Heenan, and Paddock, and Nat :7
I’ll bet that old Milo, though puffy and fat,8
Would thrash the whole ring, should they come within range,9
From slashing Tom Sayers to sneaking Bill Bainge.10
I’ve determined, as plain as the staff of a pike,11
To show to the world what a man should be like.12
Go fetch me some clay : no, not that common stuff,13
But the very best meerschaum—and fetch me enough.14
Till make eight hearty fellows, all muscle and bone,15
Their average weightshall be hard on twelve stone ;16
With shoulders so broad, and with arms so well hung,17
So lithe in the loins, and so sound in the lung ;18
And because I love Cambridge, my purpose is fixed, I19
Will make them her crew in the year eighteen sixty.”20
Stand by me, dear reader, and list to my song,21
As our boat round Plough-corner comes sweeping along.22
I’ll point out each hero, and tell you his name,23
His college, his school, and his titles to fame.24
No fear of a crowd ; towards the end of the course25
They have left all behind but a handful of horse.26
To keep at their side on the gods you must call27
For the wind of a tutor of Trinity Hall.28
One stroke, and they’re on us. Quick !  Left face and double !29
Look hard at the bow ; he is well worth the trouble.30
’Tis Heathcote, the pride of First Trinity Club,31
The boast of our eight, and the tale of our tub.32
No Oxonian so gay but will tremble and wince33
As he watches the oar of our gallant Black Prince.34
Who can think on that morn without sorrow and pain35
When valour proved futile, and skill was in vain ?36
As they watched the light jerseys all swimming about,37
The nymphs of the Thames, with a splash and a shout,38
Cried, “ Thanks to rude Boreas, who, wishing to please us,39
Has sent to our arms Harry Chaytor of Jesus.”40
Next comes David Ingles, and long may he live,41
Adorned with each laurel our river can give.42
Had the Jews seen our David but once on the throne,43
They would not have thought quite so much of their own.44
Deign then to accept this my humble petition,45
And make me your chief and your only mumusician :46
And so, when you’ve passed, as you will do with ease,47
I’ll sing you, my David, a Song of Degrees.48
Oh, blame not the bard if at thought of his section49
The blood in his temples with vanity tingles :50
Who would not dare deeds worth a world’s recollection51
With a sergeant like Heathcote, a corporal like Ingles.52
Old Admiral Blake, as from heaven he looks down,53
Bawls out to his messmates— “ You lubberly sinners,54
Three cheers for my namesake !  I’ll bet you a crown55
He’ll thrash the Oxonians as I thrashed the Mynheers.”56
Here’s Coventry next, but not Patmore, no, no !57
Not an “ angel” at all, but a devil to row.58
Should Louis Napoleon next August steam over,59
With scarlet-breeched Zouaves, from Cherbourg to Dover,60
We’ll send him to Coventry : won’t he look blue,61
And wish he was back with his wife at St. Cloud ?62
A problem concerning the man who rows six,63
Puts many high wranglers quite into a fix :64
James Stirling himself, as he candidly owns,65
Can’t conceive how a Cherry can have thirteen stones.66
But oh for the tongue of a Dizzy or Cairns,67
Thou fairest and strongest of Trinity’s bairns,68
To tell how your fellow-collegians in vain69
Of the veal and the Peter-house pudding complain,70
Of the greasy old waiters, and rotten old corks,71
And the horrors that lurk ’twixt the prongs of the forks,72
Men point to your muscles, and sinews, and thews, sir,73
The wonder and envy of many a bruiser ;74
And say that our grumbling exceeds all belief,75
So well have you thriven on Trinity beef.76
But how shall I worthily celebrate you,77
The hope of our colours, the joy of our crew ?78
Shall I sing of your pluck, or the swing of your back,79
Or your fierce slashing spurt, most redoubtable Jack ?80
The world never saw such a captain and cargo81
Since Jason pulled stroke in the good ship the Argo.82
And oh, when you pass to the mansions above,83
Look down on your Cambridge with pity and love84
Then, on some future day of disaster and woe,85
When the wash surges high, and our fortunes are low,86
When Oxford is rowing three feet to our two,87
And victory frowns on the flag of light blue,88
Oh, then may our captain in agony call89
On the ’varsity’s guardian angel, Jack Hall !90
You may search the whole coast from Land’s End to North Foreland,91
But where will you find such a steersman as Morland ?92
Just look at him peering, as sharp as a rat,93
From under his rum little shaggy black hat.94
Let all honest Cambridge men fervently pray95
That our pet Harrow coxswain, for once in a way,96
Though as valiant a sergeant as any we know,97
On Saturday next may show back to the foe.98
So at night, when the wine-cups all mantling are seen99
(Whatever the mantling of wine-cups may mean),100
With your temper at ease, and your muscles unstrung,101
And your limbs ’neath the table right carelessly flung,102
As you press to your lips the beloved nut-brown clay,103
So cruelly widowed for many a day :104
Oh, then as one man may the company rise,105
With joy in their hearts, and with fire in their eyes,106
Pour out as much punch as would set her afloat,107
And drink long and deep to our conquering boat !108