Cicely Fox Smith

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

The Recruit - Poem by Cicely Fox Smith

Bat and ball are there, lad,
And you not there to play . . .
'There's a nobler game playing
For English lads today.'

And if your mates miss you
As they are like to do? . . .
'If my mates were men, lad,
They'd ha' 'listed too.'

What will your dad say
That is old and grey? . . .
'Oh, he'd give life and all, lad,
To be young this day.'

Was your mother not weeping
As you marched away? . . .
'Ay, weeping she kissed me
As a lad's mother may.'

And what'll your girl say then
That used to walk with you? . . .
'Perhaps she'll walk lonely
For she loves me true.'

'But parents both and sweetheart,
All have said the same -
'If you hadn't gone, lad,
I'd ha' died for shame!''


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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, August 31, 2010



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