Verse > Anthologies > J. C. Squire, ed. > A Book of Women’s Verse
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J. C. Squire, ed.  A Book of Women’s Verse.  1921.
 
The Devourers
By Rose Macaulay
 
CAMBRIDGE town is a beleaguered city;
  For south and north, like a sea,
There beats on its gates, without haste or pity,
  The downs and the fen country.
 
Cambridge towers, so old, so wise,        5
  They were builded but yesterday,
Watched by sleepy gray secret eyes
  That smiled as at children’s play.
 
Roads south of Cambridge run into the waste,
  Where learning and lamps are not,        10
And the pale downs tumble, blind, chalk-faced,
  And the brooding churches squat.
 
Roads north of Cambridge march through a plain
  Level like the traitor sea.
It will swallow its ships, and turn and smile again,        15
  The insatiable fen country.
 
Lest the downs and the fens should eat Cambridge up,
  And its towers be tossed and thrown,
And its rich wine drunk from its broken cup,
  And its beauty no more known—        20
 
Let us come, you and I, where the roads run blind,
  But beyond the transient city,
That our love, mingling with earth, may find
  Her unperishable heart of pity.
 
 
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