Cicely Fox Smith

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

Nec Aspera Terrent - Poem by Cicely Fox Smith

Hark, the bugles call us out!
Hark, the chargers restless neigh!
Who will tread the beaten track?
Who will dare the shorter way?

Failure, say they? Who would fear
When the world is wide before,
And the skies are wide above,
And a strong man's heart is sure?

When was ever kingdom made,
Glory bought, or empire won,
When was might guerdon gained
But a mighty risk was run?

If we count the risk too great, -
Shrinking, keep the safer way,
Should we not for many a year
Mourn the chance we lost to-day?

Ne'er again such chance will be:
Not to take it, this were sin:
Think not what we stand to lose:
Think what waits us if we win!

Worth the dreary afterdark,
Lost career and bitter blame,
But an hour to stand alone, -
Fight and fail for such an aim.

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Poem Submitted: Monday, August 30, 2010

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