Alice Ayres (Rawnsley)
On the stairs,
Do you hear the horses come?
God grant that we may see
Your mantle falling free,
When your soul is caught up home.
Aye, she hears,
Has no fears,
Tho' the flames are round her feet,
She has set the window wide,
To the crowd below has cried,
Casts the mattress to the street.
One by one—
Seeks the children through the smoke,
Though the red flames break the door,
Though the white fumes through the floor
Curl, to stifle and to choke.
Seeks and brings
On the wings
Of her love so strong and brave
All the children of her care,
Drops them gently thro' the air
To the hands outstretched to save.
We will keep
Safe from harm!" the great crowd calls;
Half in swoon, faint for breath,
From a fiery doom, to death
Shattered fearfully, she falls
On the stairs,
When the golden horses came,
Your mantle fell so free,
All the world was there to see
Heaven's chariot-wheels of flame.
Work and will,
Tried by fire can stand the test,
Still we think in Red-Cross Hall,
Of "our Alice," hear her call,
"Die for others, do your best."
This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1923.
The author died in 1920, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 80 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.