Cicely Fox Smith

(1882-1954 / England)

Roving Men

Take the boat to the bounds of the ocean,
Away to the ends of the earth:
We've a heritage no one may plunder,
A right that is ours from our birth!
Wooers of fortune the fickle,
Bondsmen of limitless sea,
Brothers in soul from the cradle,
Blood of the Vikings are we!

Since our fathers sailed with Drake,
Alien lands to find and take,
In the misty days of yore,
Forth our hopeful way we wend, -
Tramp the world from end to end,
Roam the ocean and the shore.
Tho' men say the earth is old
And can nothing new unfold,
And that all her songs are sung,
Yet our burning steps pass on
Where the men of old have gone,
As it was when earth was young.

We have jested with the earth
In the fullness of our mirth
In her silent sanctity:
We have wrestled long with Death
'Mid the poisonous fever breath,
Which should gain the mastery.
Southern Cross and Northern Light
Know our manhood and our might,
And our folly and our sin:
On the lonely untrod lands
Lightly have we laid our hands,
Set and sealed them for our kin.

In our days the war and dearth
Heralding a nation's birth,
From our ranks death's harvesting;
Yet we stay not to behold,
As the passing years unfold,
All the fruit our toil may bring.
Other folk may follow on
Where our fleeting steps have gone,
Sow and reap where we have trod:
But our restless footsteps turn
To the wilds for which we yearn,
Unknown way and untilled sod!

Take the boat for the bounds of the ocean,
Away to the ends of the earth:
We've a heritage no one may plunder,
A right that is ours from our birth!
Little we ask for our guerdon;
Nought save to roam and be free;
Bound for the tents of the nomad,
Blood of the Viking, are we!

Submitted: Monday, August 30, 2010

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