Cicely Fox Smith
The Broken Brigade - Poem by Cicely Fox Smith
We who are gone from the lands that are dear to us,
We who were merry in days that are dead,
Shall we not hope that the dawn may be near to us?
Shall we lament that our folly has fled?
Tho' in life's spring we have squandered the best of it,
Gallant careers that we deemed we might win,
Honour and glory and wealth and the rest of it,
(Such is the price we have paid for our sin), -
Greater the value of joys in their scarcity;
Many the lessons from sorrow to learn:
Truer the friends that are found in adversity;
Sweeter the praise that is harder to earn.
Yea, tho' we go, and our comrades may rue us not,
Dead be the past as a song that is sung:
Out in the open, in countries that knew us not,
Find we the honour that left us so young.
Yea, tho' at times for the old days we hunger,
Fortune and glory may meet us at last:
Hope is in lands that are wider and younger,
Hope for the fallen to conquer the past.
Yea, tho' we die, and the earth bear no trace of us,
Nought save a grave that none careth to tend,
Haply the devil that wrought the disgrace of us
Proveth the angel disguised in the end!
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