Cicely Fox Smith
The Eve Of Battle - Poem by Cicely Fox Smith
We're a score of men together
To drink to the days of yore,
To the little joys and sorrows
That were our lives before.
We're a nobler lot to live for;
We're a prouder death to dare:
Yet once, for we fight to-morrow,
A glass to the days that were!
To the things that we loved so dearly
In the careless days gone by;
To the beat of hoofs at the hurdles,
To the sound of the hounds in cry.
To the feast and the game and the frolic,
We were but children then, -
God grant, now the game's in earnest,
We play our parts like men!
Good-bye to the careless revel,
Farewell to the fruitless past:
In the roar of the fight to-morrow
There'll be work for men at last.
Here's a health to the fight's survivors,
And here's to the men who fall!
To the death that is sweet and goodly,
To the sword on the soldier's pall!
We're a score of men together,
And one more glass we'll drain:
Hands round ere our ranks be thinner;
There'll be gaps ere we meet again.
Here's luck in the fight to-morrow:
Here's a chance of fair renown:
Here's a gallant race and a stirring pace,
Ere the Last Fence brings you down!
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