Cicely Fox Smith

(1 February 1882 – 8 April 1954 / Lymm, Cheshire)

Fuentes D'Onor - Poem by Cicely Fox Smith

Squadron on squadron came galloping on,
Furiously charging, and sweeping the field,
The squares were hard pressed and the cavalry gone,
And Ramsay cut off! He must die or must yield!
None dared to hope for the battery then,
None dared to dream they would see them again:
Little they deemed that the guns and the men
Would follow the flag in the battles of Spain.

Tho', in their thousands engirding them there,
French swords were gleaming and French plumes were tossed,
There were no weaklings to whine and despair,
Not yet awhile was the battery lost.
Never a man but would scorn to surrender,
Trapped at the first in so gallant a fray:
Surrounded, outnumbered, their chance was but slender,
But where there's a will there is surely a way.

A stir and a rush and a sudden uproar,
A flashing of steel 'mid the dust and the smoke;
With a shout and a cheer from their captors they tore,
Forth from the throng at the gallop they broke.
Breakneck the pace as the open they won,
Cleaving the foe as a wave of the sea,
Straining and spurring and thundering on,
Madly the battery raced to be free.

Shaken the squadrons went reeling aside;
To left and to right they were scattered away;
Back came the guns from the desperate ride, -
Saved at the sword's point in hand to hand fray.
What did they heed tho' their chances were slender?
Courage and hardihood saved them the day.
Theirs was the valour that brooks no surrender;
Theirs was the will - and it found them a way.

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Poem Submitted: Monday, August 30, 2010

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