(28 August 1906 – 19 May 1984 / London, England)

I.M. Walter Ramsden Ob. March 26, 1947, Pembroke College, Oxford

Dr Ramsden cannot read The Times obituary to-day
He’s dead.
Let monographs on silk worms by other people be
Thrown away
For he who best could understand and criticize them, he
Lies clay
In bed.

The body waits in Pembroke College where the ivy taps the panes
All night;
That old head so full of knowledge, that good heart that kept the brains
All right,
Those old cheeks that faintly flushed as the port suffused the veins,
Drain’d white.

Crocus in the Fellows’ Garden, winter jasmine up the wall
Gleam gold.
Shadows of Victorian chimneys on the sunny grassplot fall
Long, cold.
Master, Bursar, Senior Tutor, these, his three survivors, all
Feel old.

They remember, as the coffin to its final obsequations
Leaves the gates,
Buzz of bees in window boxes on their summer ministrations,
Kitchen din,
Cups and plates,
And the getting of bump suppers for the long-dead generations
Coming in,
From Eights.

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