Cicely Fox Smith
The Charge Of The 21st Lancers - Poem by Cicely Fox Smith
And down to the clash and the flashing of spears,
To the heart of the seething tumult of savage Emirs,
Cleaving a pathway thro' weapon and armour and targe,
Thundered the headlong rush of the cavalry charge.
Lo, on a sudden, - all hidden and lurking unseen, -
Leapt into life from the hollow ravine
Foemen in rank on rank, where before there were none!
'Are they hundreds or thousands?'
What matter when fame's to be won?
It was conquer or die! Did one fall from the saddle in pain,
'Twas farewell to the sunlight he never should look on again;
Hacked and hewed from the semblance of man by the pitiless foes;
For the Red Cross never can save from such foemen as those!
Back to the world from the hurry and heat of the fray:
But the blood of the brave went to winning the laurels of that day.
'Form!' And they formed at the order (the muster was four
Where, ere the winning of spurs, there was numbered a score);
Blinded with blood, black with powder, and maddened with pain;
Ready to charge for old England - again and again!
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