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You are here:   New College Village »  About New College Village »  Early Science Exhibition »  Sample Of Poetry

Sample of Poetry

The following selection of the poems by C.J. Milner are available to read under the related downloads at the bottom of the left hand margin of this page:

Bay cities (1944)
Lover’s Rhyme (1944)
Selected BTH Clerihews (1947)
Autoepitaph (1965)
V.C.A. Clerihews (1966)
Industrial revolutions (1978)
On automatic - vehicle technology (1980)
An unpublished letter to the Editor of the ‘Journal of Scientific Instruments’ and of the bulletin of the Institute of Physics (1951)


Bay Cities  (1944)

Time marches on, and has caught up with me:

The time has come, and I must leave the Bay,

The Golden Gate, the antiquated Key

System, and Tamalpais, this very day.

I journeyed many days and weeks by land

And sea and air, faster than Time, to seize

The old curmudgeon by the forelock, and

So reached St Francis’ city of the seas.


But not to that old courtesan my troth

Although in mellow age her charm’s refined,

Nor yet to Oakland, where, upon my oath,

Commerce goes rampant over humankind:

My choice is Berkeley, white and fresh and fair,

For youth and truth and friendship flourish there.

                                                Note: During Sept. - Dec. 1944 I worked at the U. of California, Berkeley.


Lover’s Rhyme  (1944)

If you were here, my dear, if you were in my place,

               What would you do?

If you could see me now, would you take my embrace?

               Would you kiss too?

If what you saw, you liked, and what you thought, I knew,

               Would you still think?

If there were truth in wine, and love were in it too,

               Would you still drink?

If we sat down to dine, what would you say to me

               As we began?

If there were only time, and we were merely free,

               Am I your man?

Now as for all the rest: I’d tell you what I’d do

               If I were you.


Auto-Epitaph  (1965)                   

“When I have died – all must – then think of me

There is some tiny corner of some field

That I marked ‘Church of England’.  If you see

Its nature, and the mark with which it’s sealed,

It will, I hope, seem not too dull and not

Too pure-as-dust.  Sealed in my forehead find

‘A servant of our God who loved a lot

Of things and persons, but, of human kind,

He only favoured some.  Good fortune favoured him;

Gave him a wife, a Muse, gave health and strength,

Gave wits and caution; gave him a chance, if slim,

To meet requirements, to get by, at length,

In through the needle’s eye, the narrow gate.’

When I have died, I’ll hope to be not ‘Late’.”