Cicely Fox Smith

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

No Surrender - Poem by Cicely Fox Smith

Souls of the strong, whose glory lives for aye,
Whose names are stars on unforgotten fields,
Who found not in the bitterest dark of day
Despair that yields, -
Say, was it well, victorious over fears,
So to give up young glory for the grave?
Do ye ne'er hunger for your unlived years,
Souls of the brave?

'Life, and the pride of life,
We found them ere our prime;
Strife, and the joy of strife,
These knew we in our time.
Earth, and the lands of earth,
Where'er our ways might trend,
Dear to us from our birth
Seems dearest at the end.'

'Men, ay, and sons of men,
Not ours for life to whine,
Bartering, tho' one to ten,
The honour of our line.
Life - what were life to buy,
Yielding to save our skin?
Life - that we held so high
We could not stoop to win.'

'Death, and the crown of death,
Ye buy not for a price, -
Hope that nought conquereth
And pride of sacrifice.
We looked our last on earth
Nor, dying, shirked the shot,
Holding the prize well worth
The years we grudged not.'

So speak the deeds you did, souls of the slain,
Dead in the name of fame on land and sea, -
Turning the grief to joy, the loss to gain,
Defeat to victory.

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Poem Submitted: Monday, August 30, 2010

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