Cicely Fox Smith

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

The Search-Light, Kimberley, 1899-1900 - Poem by Cicely Fox Smith

Dark night upon the leaguered town,
And on the hidden foe;
Anxious the distant nation waits
For news of weal and woe.
Like ghastly dawn across the sky,
In glimmering streaks and pale
The white light on the midnight sky
Gasps out its silent tale.

Strained eyes across the lonely veldt
Watch the white gleams afar,
The cold white light whose pallid glare
Pales the warm Southern star.
What tells the message of the night?
Of loss or hard-won gain,
Wild sudden sortie of the dark;
Fierce onslaught pressed in vain?

Swift veers the finger o'er the heav'ns;
(Too slow it moves - too slow!)
How fares it with the leaguered town?
How fares it with the foe?
Fast as it may the aid draws nigh:
Still say they: 'All is well!'
Yet speed ye! Speed! For who can know
What next night's dark may tell?

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, August 31, 2010

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