Cicely Fox Smith

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

Offa’s Dyke - Poem by Cicely Fox Smith

Down in the dyke of the ancient folk,
Hard by the rampart crowned with oak,
My foot sank deep in the drift of years,
Of buried battles and hates and fears,
And fights none reckons who lost or won,
Long won, long lost in the time that’s done.

Deep in the dyke of the ancient folk,
Something stirred in its sleep and woke,
Something rose to the light of day,
Something followed me all the way,
Something dogged me that came not nigh,
Loitered and hastened and stopped as I.

Out of the dyke I cam at last,
Where the drift lay high of the ages past,
From the following thing that lingered there
To the sun and the sky and the lark in air,
And the wind in the bents that, strong and fleet,
Ran like flame on its unseen feet . . . .

Deep in the dyke of the ancient men
Something turned to its rest again.

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Poem Submitted: Monday, August 30, 2010

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