Cicely Fox Smith

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

Hollinshead Hall - Poem by Cicely Fox Smith

Silent the ruined house, slowly rotting and falling;
Empty the great barns, dumb and lifeless and blind;
But for the thin voices out of the stillness calling,
But for the light shadows blowing by like a wind, -
But for the trees' murmur, but for the birds' crying,
Sounding, faint as a dream to a phantom call replying: -
'Hey, boon companions, in the grey dust lying,
Do ye not remember how this earth was kind?'

'Ah, but we lived then,' say the whispering shadows,
'Knew life in its fullness that did not canker nor cloy:
Tasted the keen wind, the sweet o' the Spring meadows,
Felt the earth's blood leaping like the heart of a boy.
Ah the good horses in their speed extended!
Ah the hoofs on the upland in those mornings splendid, -
Hey, gallant comrades, though they all be ended,
Should we not remember them, God's gifts of joy?'

'God made the sunlight and the young earth's glory,
Made His good creatures for man's clean delight:
Gave him flowers of remembrance for fields growing hoary,
Lit him torches of memory for the dark of night.
No strong arm but must falter, no blood but grows colder,
No stout beam and rafter but at last must moulder;
Ho, boon companions, though the earth be older,
Shall we not remember when the sun shone bright?'

Yea, though graves be green, yea, though homes be forsaken,
Though barren the granary, and waste gardens lie,
From the years in God's gamer new life have they taken,
New life that passeth not 'twixt the earth and sky.
The flower fades, the hours pass, &mdash never Memory's ember: -
Spring unto Spring calls o'er snows of December, -
'Hey, boon companions, shall we not remember
All the good yesterdays that can never die?'


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Poem Submitted: Monday, August 30, 2010



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