Friday, October 18, 2013

Sophie: 1918 Poem Discovered

Found this via The Register, Adelaide, dated Wednesday 23 January 1918. This would have been when Lady Heath, then Sophie Eliott Lynn and aged only 21, was on war duty as a motor dispatch driver, possibly in northern France. It was most likely syndicated among a number of regional newspapers in the UK and abroad. Pretty excited to have found it!

Pleasant it is to hear the swish
Of the water round your boat
Or in flannels cool in some still pool
To drift and laze afloat

There's joy in swimming with crestless waves
Where the tide runs deep and wide
And there's life always in the swift short sway
Of a horse's steady stride.

But there's joy of life in the open road
The road that is unknown too,
Where the endless wind that is seldom kind
Can kiss you or cut you in two

A boat will rock as the sea gets strong,
And the crested waves turn cold;
They buffet and beat – and a horse's feet
Grow tired – a horse grows old.

But with grease and oil and a little time
Your bike is a friend that's fair;
On valley and hill it is faithful still,
And it always gets you there.

You cross the glare of a summer sun,
You bow to the slash of rain,
But never you find in storm or wind
That you've given your care in vain

Ah, me! the streak of the long white road
Where the tall dark trees flash by,
And the heat of the day gets wiped away
With the dusk of a twilight sky.

And the moon comes up from a dewy haze,
And the damp air lends you power,
You know you can do – the whole night through -
Your thirty miles and hour.
- Sophie Eliott Lynn

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