All quiet, the forest around Yale Bowl

Tremors, pregnant with meaning, the message

Fathomed by he who hearkens to silence.

For in silence sound is no mere chatter

But rather birth, advent, revelation.

With the bespecked rays of dawn, awake

Autumnal lark, take flight, and sing of man

Immortal, of worthy blood the image.

The man is seen in photographs, his face

Clean-shaven, chiseled, his eyes straight-forward,

His look intense and strong. But he is known

In memory by unreal loyalty,

By discipline, piety, duty. His

Society framed by inheritance,

His society he cherished like home,

And found the home of his blue-blood in Yale.

What a Yale was that Yale! Boola, boola

And all the rest. Those Elis resembled

The bulldog’s nobility, and Elis

On the field his ferocity. For theirs

Was a world worth a fight, their common cause

The protection of an inherited

Domesticity. And when the Elis

Marched on down the field, the blue-bloods triumphed.

But this man proved mortal, he unworthy

Of that higher glory. Abstract ideals

Enchanted: liberty, equality,

Fraternity, then culture overthrown.

Man, the creature of custom, stripped naked,

Reclined to ignominious repose,

Forsook the trust of his inheritance —

The blue-bloods bled themselves into the grave.

The glory returns only in moments

Echoing the past. Intimations of

An immortality in harmonic

Reverberation. The harmonic thrust

Alerts the forest, augurs a well-spring

Of hope. Out of darkness, a ray of light,

Of meaning, of promise, of purpose. The

Blood that was shed shall animate again.

The age of chivalry is gone, that of

Individuals upon us, and the

Enemy efficient beyond reform.

So much the rather thou, men of Yale, fight

Off the hordes of Harvard, the modern men

Conceived in mass, each individual

Liberated that they are all the same.

Retrieve the blood of thy patrimony.

The moment of glory cannot endow

Nobility. As our fathers lost it,

So will we, and much faster We are not

Worthy of the higher prize. Thus the lark

Alights, the forest fulfilled, its message

Delivered. But man is left unfulfilled.

For though we desire to be worthy,

So striving our draining blood fades from blue.

Peter Johnston is a junior in Saybrook College. His column runs on alternate Wednesdays.