12 AUGUST 1905, Page 16


[Reminiscences of life in the Orange River Colony with the Second Contin- gent of Oxford University Volunteers during the late War.] THERE were eight of us held a Blockhouse, built from a tumbling kraal

On the Line that ran by hill and dale from Kroonstad to . the Vaal; Far! far ! from the sounds of Oxford, with her wall-bound winding lanes, In a land of lonely mountains and sa.bbath-silent plains ; Far ! far! from the gray Bodleian, 'mid the veld's Atlantic spell, That book-lined walls can never know or fireside legend tell.

For these dim isles can't echo the Zulu's inland cry As be cheered his lagging oxen beneath a Southern sky, Or print declare the vain Mirage whose shadows seemed to swim Across the sullen tropic air, as all the ways grew dim ; The mist that sailed the meadows till friend and foe were lost, Or the great red Hope of sunrise when the world lay white in frost Our Blockhouse stands deserted, yet oft at close of day We see the long sad leagues of fence and the searchlights far away; They rise again like some refrain borne home upon the breeze, Those thoughts that flash'd across our lives and flung us over seas ; For Memory with a maiden's hand has mingled Southern flowers Amid the vision that we hold of Oxford's time-clad .towers.