Cicely Fox Smith
The Happy Dead - Poem by Cicely Fox Smith
Happy the dead on some resounding field, -
Dead with the joy of battle in their hearts, -
Dead - with the bays of battle earned in death.
They shall not head, tho', with the sinking sun,
Roll back the fruitless fight that raged so long,
And leave them lying silent where they fell.
Happy the dead on some tumultuous field,
Who, fighting their wild battle in the dark,
Full-breasted meet their death and know no more.
They shall not know the pang of dark defeat,
The bitter sting of duty vainly done:
Happy the dead: for none shall do them wrong.
Happy the dead who lie in lonely graves:
Knelled by the sound of England's mournful guns,
And shrouded by the standard that they loved.
Only they know the self-forgetting joy
And the strong spur of courage, and the pride
Of battle, and the noblest victory.
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