The Club's Results
Novice Fairbairn Cup 2016
A 2700m timed head race on the Cam for Cambridge College novice VIIIs
Thu 1st December
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We won. After 33 years of contending Novice Fairbairns, we won fastest NM8+, and thereby capped perhaps the winningest term of any FaT NM8+ in history.
We have enjoyed our share of glory these past few days, and though songs may yet be written of our great battle-paddles, against the dainty men of Jesus or our dearest bete noire Caius, my report shall be prospective. I step for a moment from the rushing stream of our campaign and in the stillness note a churning, a premonition not unlike that known to Margaret of France, when she met her own Black Prince in victory:
... I know well the Fates
Are neither kind nor careless; without pity
They carry out immutable designs,
And sacrifice the bravest and the best
To shape the world according to their whim.
'Tis well I know it; then, when first I saw you,
As you did paddle to the Boathouse that day,
Splendid and modest in your darkling shell,
Socked with gold laurels, on a sprightly slide,
While trumpets sounded and the L.B.C's spake,
And jewelled banners fluttered in the wind
A beaten Maggie behind you, and the glory
Of conquest all about you like a cloud
Then, when the shout of FAIRBAIRNS rent the air,
And you, in Black Prince, to that swaying crowd
Eclipsed the glory of King Charlemagne
And all his knights, and seemed a new Achilles,
Most chivalrous, most princely among men:
Then when I brought you garlands, then, when love,
Like instant lightning flashed from you to me,
I did foresee the inevitable end.
EDWARD: Nay, cease talk not of that.
MARGARET: I did foresee
The inevitable end. I knew that summer
Might stay awhile with pomp of bees and roses
And harvest moons ; but there must come a time
When petals fall, when the green woodland dies,
And nothing but bare boughs remain. I fear
No sudden storm, no unexpected whirlwind;
But the pale progress of decay, the blight
Of Autumn; Summer dying, leaf by leaf,
And rose by rose; the red moon, like a wizard
Luring chill vapours from the leafless woods.
I fear no unforeseen catastrophe,
But the slow dawning of indifference;
The gradual ebb and listless march of autumn
That surely will invade thy soul the season
When the fierce passion of thy heart shall wane
As wanes the living fire of summer days
To the pale mockery of winter suns.
The Black Prince, M. Baring (1903, with minor revisions....)
It is my hope, then, and sincerely held (moreso than purpled prose may here show), that though our moment's end is nigh, the coming winter yet shall find us rededicated to our craft.
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