Cicely Fox Smith

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

Men Of The Marches - Poem by Cicely Fox Smith

We in our citied ease,
Far from the noise of war,
Often we think on you,
Sentries by gates afar,
Under your sweltering skies
And sun that parches,
Say, shall we pity you,
Men of the Marches?

Men of the olden time,
Forging their weary way
Far from their native land,
Hold we full high to-day;
Even as the roving men
Of England's child-days,
So to our children, you,
Men of the wild days.

Shall we not see the past
Living again in you,
Who in the wilderness
Found the old world anew,
Danger and drought and death
Gallantly scorning?
O for the life you lead,
Men of the morning!

For yours to tread the first
Over the ways unknown,
Grasping from Time's vast hoard
Prizes we all may own;
Whatever storm and stress
Over your way break,
Who would not strive by you,
Men of the daybreak!

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Poem Submitted: Monday, August 30, 2010

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