They're large and soft now, those clever girls
Who once slaved over Herodotus and
Held the Scholar Gypsy's hand
Over Cumnor Hill.

Monica, Celia and Joan are all
Settled comfortably,
Safely retired from making
The world a better place.

But as the days lengthen and the drift of
Woodsmoke curls its memories
Into their grey laundered hair,
"Juvenes dum sumus" still sounds its reminder,
The tock of hockey balls, a cry of pain,
The worm waiting, glistening in formalin.