Cicely Fox Smith

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

To A Rusty Bicycle - Poem by Cicely Fox Smith

How many times in years gone by,
My faithful grid have you and I
Sought gladly out in sun and rain
By broad highway and winding lane,
In many a well remembered ride,
The secrets of the countryside!
Who shall recount how many a time
I’ve pushed you up some endless climb
And breathless, as I topped the rise,
Possessed five counties with my eyes -
What long descents gone hurtling down
To river bridge or red-roofed town,
While past me, vibrant, shrill and strong,
The cleft air thrilled its heartening song?
How often in those days of yore
Hard words and undeserved you bore,
When on some upland bleak and bare,
A dozen miles from everywhere,
I heard the faint protesting sigh,
As dark came down on earth and sky,
Of punctured rubber basely torn
By lurking nail or casual thorn!

Enough old friend. The days are done
Of careless rides in rain and sun;
Too fearful are the joys they feel
Who take today the road a-wheel.
And you in attic hid must lie
While day be empty day goes by,
Your bright enamel cracked and dim,
A spider’s mesh on spoke and rim,
While people urge without avail,
“Do give that to the jumble sale!”

Perish the though! For old sake’s sake
No hand but mine shall clutch your brake,
No alien feet awake again
Your grinding hubs and rattling chain;
Like some old hunter out at grass
You shall your life’s long evening pass,
And, dreaming of brave days we’ve known,
Flake slowly into rust alone.

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, August 31, 2010

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