Ballade of Veteran Students' Wives

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In every college throngs of Vets, Come academic capping day, Will triumph loud as each man gets His sheepskin, ends the long affray With learning. Single combat? Nay, Though gown and hood proclaim: "Lo these Are Bachelors; your plaudits, pray!" -- It's the students' wives who deserve degrees.

The wives have earned to stave off debts, Done miracles with husbands' pay; Made sure no hindrances or lets Disturbed their even studious way; Soothed them in tiredness or dismay, Plotted sufficient hours of ease, Lest mental loads too heavy weigh. It's the students' wives who deserve degrees.

They've coped with children, whose upsets And joys--tears, songs and laughter fey-- Meant care and toil, but not regrets, Though often found a bit outré

As study-aids! The men's display Of labour has matched old Hercules, But to see behind it needs no X-ray: It's the students' wives who deserve degrees.

Envoi "Milton (F. Gregg) thou shouldst" essay to laud officially their qualities; Give parchment scrolls from D.V.A. To the students' wives who deserve the degrees.

Author: D. Kermode Parr, Dean of Alexander College


  • Ottawa Citizen, 6 May 1950.

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