Cicely Fox Smith

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

Gilly - Poem by Cicely Fox Smith

Where have you been, Gilly, where have you been?
Shooting at a mark with the lads Upon the green?
Or out on the moor where the yeomen do rally?
'Oh I played at the bowls all in yonder green alley.'

If the Spanish ships should come, Gilly, how would it be?
'How should they come, and our good ships at sea?'
If a mist wrapped the waters or a great wind blew,
And so they crept in, Gilly, what would you do?

What should we do if it fell upon a day,
Our sailors all at sea, our yeomen all away,
The foemen all streaming from carrack and galley,
And you playing bowls all in yonder green alley?

'I would up and fight,' says Gilly,' I would up and die!'
What better were you then, what better were I?
What worse were the foemen for all your brave ending,
Who could not lift a sword for your own home's defending?

Take the old sword, Gilly, rusting on the wall,
And lead out the horse, too, that frets in the stall:
Go out to the moor where the yeomen do rally,
And let the bowls moulder in yonder green alley!

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Poem Submitted: Monday, August 30, 2010

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