Scottish Poetry Selection
- Alma Mater

Glasgow University

Walter Wingate's "Alma Mater" was Glasgow University, pictured above, where he studied mathematics.

Alma Mater

Arch and pillar as I pass
        Find a tongue;
And the green quadrangle grass
        Makes me young;
While the four-repeated chime
        Of the hour,
And the solemn voice of time
        From the tower
Plunge me in the wave that flowed
  When the "Senior Greek" would ebb
  From the classic grace of Jebb
To the human laugh of Ramsay through his Ode!

In the wind my scarlet gown
        Round me whirls,
And I press my trencher down
        On my curls,
As I race my fifty-yard
        'Cross the way
And the blizzard smites me hard
        While it may:
Till the semi-circled tiers
  In a peace serene and high
  Hear a Roman lover sigh
Above the storms of twice a thousand years!

Alma Mater! From your eyes
        I was blest,
When I battled for the prize
        With your best;
Now his name-that eager boy-
        Must be set
With the noteless Hoi Polloi
        You forget.
Ah! his dreams were gilded then:
  And to-day within your walls,
  Where the man the boy recalls,
He almost dares to dream them once again!

Return to the Index of Walter Wingate Poems or the General Index of Scottish Poetry

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