Cicely Fox Smith
The Outposts - Poem by Cicely Fox Smith
The sun and the clouds above them
Their lights and shadows weave,
And nought on earth shall glad them
And nought on earth shall grieve;
Gone home to dust, are lying
By deepest sleep possessed,
The eyes that loved not slumber,
The feet that knew not rest.
Above them, all unheeded
The great days wax and wane,
With burning floods of sunshine,
And bounteous showers of rain;
And fearless herds go plunging
And trampling overhead,
And lordly beasts come hunting
That little heed the dead.
They marched with eyes full forward,
They worked while there was light,
And is earth nought to them
Wherein they took delight?
O when the men who follow
Fulfill the work begun,
not joy together
To know their task is done?
And if good fights go by them,
And shots fly fast above,
Their dust shall thrill, responsive
To deeds they used to love;
And if new nations' voices
Some day shall call them blest,
Those sounds shall surely move them, -
Shall surely reach their rest.
O, if those gone remember
At all the world they leave,
The joys of earth shall glad them, -
The tears of earth shall grieve;
Shall now be all forgotten
The toil you deemed the best,
O, eyes that watched till even,
O, feet that roved to rest?
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