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The Destruction of Balliol

by Chris "Childe Harold" Oakley

Horace Scumbag the Balliol prat was seen
Holding court, wearing a tie of putrid puce-green:
‘There’s nothing I don’t know that’s worth the mention,
For a Balliol man is God’s favourite invention;

‘Of Physic and Logic I am deeply profound;
And of Rhetoric and Greats superlatively sound:
I am superbly smart, and effortlessly superior,
And the girls can’t resist my handsome exterior.’

‘And unlike the fascist wastrels next door,
I care about blacks and asians and the poor;’
He paused and then gave his valet a kick:
‘I said shaken, not stirred, you useless prick!’

He threw the Martini glass at the man
And yelled, ‘Clean up the mess, or your hide I’ll tan!’
And as he bent over, he kicked him again,
Saying, ‘Such useless chattels are really a pain.’

Unbeknownst, unperceiv’d, hov’ring in mid air
The ghost of a Trinity man watch’d this affair —
Hight Walter Savage Landor, the poet of some note,
He had come up to watch the Trinity boat.

Quoth he: ‘These Balliol tossers do my senses appal —
In two cen’tries they have not improved at all;
This useless, posturing, arrogant lot
Would inspire repeated use of the garrote. ’

He wander’d some more through street and quad
To observe some more of this Balliol squad;
What he saw did shock even he,
And he return’d to hell-exil’d Trinity.

For there is a special place down below
Where all but a tithe of Trinity wights go:
The college rooms, though small and scrawny,
Have sinks with four taps: Hot, Cold, Ruby and Tawny.

In the chapel there’s no statue or picture of Jesus:
Instead there are effigies of Baal and Dionysus;
There is no day, only night perpetual,
With the livelong time spent in pagan ritual.

In the garden, sickly weeds and cankers do fester
And men their rellies and little urchins pester;
The riot from the non-stop orgy is heard
Full two miles hence, as flies the blackbird.

But Walter, full of wrath, bad their revelry cease:
He said: ‘We are called upon now to be supernatural police:
For the Balliol scourge bids me a council to call,
That we may deal with the buggers once and for all! ’

Long time they their uffish discourse did hold —
The Balliol irksomeness said, and modern examples told;
(That whiles, the boys and sheep had a rest,
And the marijuana fog thinn’d and fled to the West.)

Walter’s rage wax’d fulsome, his visage quite red,
And long did he speak to these spirits of the dead:
‘Post equitem sedet atra cura,’ he quoth,
‘They invite their destruction, these drongos most loth.’

And the throng was inspired with vituperative spite,
And sped after Walter into the diabolical night;
Ten thousand in number, most of Trinity’s past:
They followed, cap-a-pe armed, like a raven vast.

And many other daemons did follow the train,
Grim Dactyls, and a Spondee with a fiery mane;
And a pentameter of Iambs, all clammy and green
Encircl’d the horde as a slick, slimy screen.

Downward they rushed, firstly to greet
The three griffins, who eternally stoke the hell heat:
With the souls of the damned they fuel hell’s fire,
Pitchforks in their claws, and whips of hot wire.

The griffins were dismemb’ring a Tory M.P.
As Walter outlined his plan to the three;
They said: ‘There’ll be work for us if this gets off the ground,
Maybe as much as when The Titanic was drowned. ’

Walter spun round, his face most stern,
Crying, ‘To Balliol! To battle! To break and to burn!’
And like a fire in the reeds was the shaking of spears;
Like a fire in the forest when the smoke at last clears.


The air was tender: a precocious spring;
A night so mild, and Diana did bring
Soft light, so fair, ’pon the late-frozen ’scape;
Gently nurturing and cherishing ’neath night’s inky cape.

Easy laughter rang above the murmuring sound:
The soft city noises that echoed around;
For the M.C.R. were gath’ring by the Carolian pile
And would explain their parentage to all in a while.

But ere the tuning-up was begun
A madness most extreme enter’d this harmless fun;
The Balliol dislike stirr’d to a frenzy of hate —
They bellowed their wish to pull down each slate.

And the staircases emptied: a fearsome band,
Destruction in their eyes and weapons in hand,
Made for the lodge to assemble their might
And to vanquish Balliol that selfsame night.

The Trinity man came down like a wolf on the fold
And his banners were gleaming in navy and gold.
And the light of his eyes was an avenging fire,
Like an Angel of Death, or Beelzebub’s sire.

The Balliol man fled and went to the ground
’Pon hearing the war-whoops: the gruesome sound
Of Danton and Yeoward, the grim-visaged pair,
Who in their belts sticks and maces did wear.

In the vanguard they flew — their maces askew;
Hard followed by a wedge of the M.C.R. crew
Yelling like fury and waving their sticks,
Running, for Balliol’s wagon to fix.

The Trinity man came down like the wolf on the fold
And a tide of destruction o’er Balliol rolled;
The women were attacked with squash racket and ball
And the men were raped and beaten withal.

And a torch was put to the ancient pile:
The flames sputtered and gnawed, till in a short while
The dun sky was licked by tongues of fire:
The battle lit with orange as the flames reached higher.

Above the hollering an Aston roared:
Revving like crazy — for chasing the horde
Of Balliol sat Schulze, spattered with blood —
The infamous lecher, and world-renowned stud.

Henrey was next him, bearing a lance —
The gruesome kebab to the hilt did advance;
A wench was howling as he tried to catch her,
He said, ‘We do this for England, and for Margaret Thatcher!’

Standing close by and feared just as much
Miyazaki, with Samurai sword in his clutch
Made sushi rolls and sashimi most grim
From the careless wights who dared rattle him.

Across the quad fair Gilly set upon
A Balliol man — yet she carried no weapon
For her tongue lashed better than any whip
And soon the guy completely lost his grip.

‘You’re an arrogant poseur and pretentious prat,’
She quoth, ‘And you look a right twit in that trilby hat;
You’ve got B.O. and you’re cock’s too small,
And I don’t like your Lenin beard at all. ’

With rapier, tennis racquet and lacrosse stick
Todd, Harington and Vlahop. with cut and backhand flick,
Pinned a passle of the mob against the wall —
Though Horace Scumbag escaped and fled to the hall.

He charged up the steps — sweat on his brow
Trembling, though unscathed (he knew not how);
He slammed and bolted the doors behind,
Hoping for at last to sanctuary find.

No person he saw; and he deemed it safe —
(The foolish child! The guileless waif!)
For from the rafters a terror did fall
Which made those outside seem paltry and small!

He screamed, he hollered, blood spouting from his neck
As he and the vampire hit the deck:
‘A Hoey!’ he wailed, ‘A Hoey — I knew he
Would be here!’ he cried, shaking, his resolve turned gooey.

Tearing at flesh, with red hair and red eyes,
His razor teeth cut Scumbag down to size.
He smacked his lips, his blood lust sated
And shinned back up and for his next victim waited.

Hector and Oakley, physicists two,
Watched the rising of a smoke plume of blue
From the boiler house, and thought it would be nice
To settle Balliol’s fate with a nuclear device.

They worked through the night on a kiloton bomb,
But since they had no aeroplane to drop it from,
They launched it from a catapult on the Trinity lawn —
And the mushroom cloud blossomed as neared the dawn.

Savage Landor’s army that no mortal could see
Hovered above the radioactive debris.
‘’Tis done!’ shouted Landor with visage so fell,
And they rushed like a hurricane back to hell!