Cicely Fox Smith
Salvage - Poem by Cicely Fox Smith
Not the encounter of navies in battle array -
The roar of salvoes - the smoke-wrack that darkens the day -
But a mined ship with her forepeak full
Off the Foreland, waiting towing
. . .
Not the white flame of the searchlights, the red glare between,
The heaven-splitting thunder and roar of the struck magazine -
But a fog rolling up the Channel as white as wool,
And never a light showing
. . .
Not the fierce dash of destroyers - the bow-wave like snow -
The track of the headlong torpedo launched swift on the foe -
But a ship aground off the Long Sand light,
And a hell of a gale blowing
. . .
Not the stern splendour of battle, the glory, the fame,
Not the awarding of honours, the nation's acclaim,
But a crew and a cargo to take off in the night,
And the light fast going . . .
(But only the duty and the deed - whose reward is in no man's bestowing!)
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