Cicely Fox Smith

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

Pretty Meadow - Poem by Cicely Fox Smith

In the field the farm-folk call,
One and all,
Pretty Meadow &mdash if you look
Domesday Book
Very likely gives its name
Just the same -
Once a great house used to stand,
Bravely planned,
Brick and stone, accounted sure
To endure,
Clustered chimneys - windows too
Not a few
Flashing back the sunset light
Night by night.

So it stood till &mdash who may know
By what foe?
War that wasted many a shire,
Tempest, fire,
Or by time and slow decay
Worn away,
Beam from beam, and stone from stone,
Down were thrown.
Fretted cornice, pillared hall,
Vanished all -
And of all the countless panes
None remains
Where the sunset, night by night,
Used to light
All his mimic fires aglow
Row on row.

Only on some mounded heaps
Cinquefoil creeps,
By whose line you still may pace
Out the place
Where a great house, bravely planned,
Used to stand . . .
And I doubt if ever there
Sight more fair
Pretty meadow had to show
Long ago
Than the lapwing's clutch of young,
Diamond hung
On their backs of dappled down,
Golden brown,
Hurrying through the dewy grass
As you pass -
So I saw them, but to-day,
Here in May!

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Poem Submitted: Monday, August 30, 2010

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