IT is not the desert lonely,
Nor at the mast-head o'er the wave,
Nor with the climbing fire ascending
Imperiled life to save,
Nor on the battlefield, that only
Are found the brave!
Ah, no! Unmarked, pain's passion-flowers,
Through nights intolerably deep,
They bind in silence; mutely praying—
Enduring, not to keep
Their watchers wearying through the hours—
But let them sleep.
Through all the winter chill, ere morning,
O'er many a frozen trail, I wis,
Fighting their course, that waiting children
Life's nurture may not miss—
Against the blast they journey, scorning
As bitter kiss.
From light-towers sending forth at even
New hope, in place of old despair,
Toiling in mines, in factories toiling—
But, ah! why seek, why care
To name them o'er? The brave, thank Heaven!
"The Brave" by Florence Earle Coates. Published in Harper's Monthly Magazine (April 1915)
Munitions worker, London