Cicely Fox Smith

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

The Dead For England - Poem by Cicely Fox Smith

Where rest the dead for England? . . .
In fields of France afar,
And shell-torn plains of Flanders,
Once loud with England's war.

And many a desert silence,
And many a wandering wave,
Have given the dead for England
Their glory and their grave.

How sleep the dead for England? . . .
A quiet sleep and sound;
They could not sleep the sweeter
At home in English ground

Than yonder far from England
Beneath a stranger sky,
With the salt seas streaming over,
And the armies marching by.

What gave the dead for England? . . .
All gracious things in life
They gave and, giving, grudged not,
The kiss of child and wife,

Love's dream and dreams' fulfilment,
Small joys and peaceful ways,
The strength of youth exulting,
The length of mellowing days.

What leave the dead to England,
For England's sake who died? . . .
Their dear ones for our caring,
Their memory for our pride.

Their trust to hold unswerving,
To end their task begun,
And a fairer, sweeter England
To build when war is done!

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Poem Submitted: Monday, August 30, 2010

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