John Betjeman

Oxford: Sudden Illness at the Bus-stop

At the time of evening when cars run sweetly,
    Syringas blossom by Oxford gates.
In her evening velvet with a rose pinned neatly
    By the distant bus-stop a don’s wife waits.

From that wide bedroom with its two branched lighting
    Over her looking-glass, up or down,
When sugar was short and the world was fighting
    She first appeared in that velvet gown.

What forks since then have been slammed in places?
    What peas turned out from how many a tin?
From plate-glass windows how many faces
    Have watched professors come hobbling in?

Too much, too many! so fetch the doctor,
   This dress has grown such a heavier load
Since Jack was only a Junior Proctor,
    And rents were lower in Rawlinson Road.