ROYAL ROADS REMEMBERED 1953 -1955
There were many unique things about “Roads”……here are some that I recall.
The Castle, the Cadet Block, the Hall Porter, the Circle, Colonel Ware, Dr. Cook and Professor Keyes, Drive, Spirit, Cattle Car, Brushing Partner, Seniors, the Oak Bay Underground, Stand down Weekend, the Japanese Gardens, Beat Venture, the Gun Room, Wheepers, Skylark, the Drying Room, “Showers” and 55 for 55.
The following little ditty is about one of them !
Circles at Double Time !
Hello darkness my old friend,
we’ve come to visit with you again.
Do you remember when we were young ?
We ran circles with the best of them.
What are these you might say ?
They meant double time on a dark and misty day.
We ran them with ease,
to prove that we could take the tease,
and I will give a drink in hell
to that Senior who said “3 circles before the bell”.
These were nights of swift running that smarted
with determined purpose and sure running,
a rush through the mist before the dew had departed,
for the cry of our mates when the task was done,
to the Senior who had monitored our run.
The wind would fall dead as we reached the place,
the thickening fog would shut down the night
as we ran with pride and grace.
For myself, I loved the lonely task
because it meant I belonged at last.
To tell the tale which is really true
is just my way of convincing you
that Royal Roads was a very unique place.
Daily the sun would rise in a misty shroud
to meet the souls who were never too proud
to say that life was worth the price.
Oh what is that roaring in our ears
that strikes our senses until we have no fear?
Or, is it just how things appear, distorted by the beat
of a solitary drum.
Now as I look back on the past,
the apparent stars have faded from the mast.
And around our clustered mates we knew,
the mind and body sink as we call to them with whispered words
and we await the time between the drumbeat and the morning call
while the Senior in the shadows overwhelms us all.
Our midnight fears are gone. We are comforted as our doubts and woes abate
as we remember our classmates from the past who ran the circles just as fast.
We know that many of them are gone
never to stand in our ranks that shone.
Sadly we know they will never come around again
running circles in the mist and rain.
Let the ranks stand fast with those who ran the full measure.
The foundation of our destiny as we were humbled by the pleasure,
on the eternal circle we held so dear.
For through the pine the gusts are blowing
and the Japanese Gardens are forever glowing.
Often we lamented with great dispair
that the clouds were more than we could bear.
I will never forget the endless rain
and the running of circles that were never a pain.
Now we try to gaze through the watery light
vowing someday to return to hear the bark in the night,
the shivering bite,
that only a Senior could inflict on a lonely soul
who prepared to run circles in the mist
and in the shrouds of the night.
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