Cicely Fox Smith

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

The Roll-Call - Poem by Cicely Fox Smith

Who hath heard the legions tramping?
Who hath heard the chargers champing?
Who hath looked upon the arming of the band?
Who hath seen the squadrons muster?
Who hath seen the standards cluster?
When the Sons of War ride forth to rouse the land.
None hath heard the marching feet, the harness rattle;
None hath seen the blazoned banner broad unfurled:
But the sons of Britain gather to the battle,
And their tramp shall shake the world.

Who hath heard the bugles blowing?
Who hath seen the banners flowing?
Who hath heard the war-drums rolling for the fray?
Who hath heard the trumpets blaring?
Who hath seen the camp-fire flaring
At the bivouac of the armaments today?
None hath heard the drums command us ready;
None hath seen the fire's red glow within his ken:
But an unseen watchfire burneth clear and steady
In the hearts of Englishmen.

Who hath seen the sabers gleaming?
Who hath seen the pennons streaming?
Who hath seen the ordered ranks together close?
Who hath heard the cannon roaring?
Who hath seen the standard soaring
O'er the field that we must never yield to the foes?
None hath heard the clash of arms, the trumpet's shrilling,
Nor the voice that crieth loud to one and all;
But far and near the watchful land is thrilling
With a silent bugle call.

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, August 31, 2010

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