Alice Ayres (Rawnsley)
<poem> Alice Ayres, 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— Nobly done— 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.
"Alice! leap! 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
Alice Ayres, 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.
Somewhere still 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."