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Best Famous John Mccrae Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous John Mccrae poems. This is a select list of the best famous John Mccrae poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous John Mccrae poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of John McCrae poems.

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Written by John McCrae |


 I saw a King, who spent his life to weave
Into a nation all his great heart thought,
Unsatisfied until he should achieve
The grand ideal that his manhood sought;
Yet as he saw the end within his reach,
Death took the sceptre from his failing hand,
And all men said, "He gave his life to teach
The task of honour to a sordid land!"
Within his gates I saw, through all those years,
One at his humble toil with cheery face,
Whom (being dead) the children, half in tears,
Remembered oft, and missed him from his place.
If he be greater that his people blessed Than he the children loved, God knoweth best.

Written by John McCrae |


 I saw a city filled with lust and shame,
Where men, like wolves, slunk through the grim half-light;
And sudden, in the midst of it, there came
One who spoke boldly for the cause of Right.
And speaking, fell before that brutish race Like some poor wren that shrieking eagles tear, While brute Dishonour, with her bloodless face Stood by and smote his lips that moved in prayer.
"Speak not of God! In centuries that word Hath not been uttered! Our own king are we.
" And God stretched forth his finger as He heard And o'er it cast a thousand leagues of sea.

Written by John McCrae |

The Warrior

 He wrought in poverty, the dull grey days,
But with the night his little lamp-lit room
Was bright with battle flame, or through a haze
Of smoke that stung his eyes he heard the boom
Of Bluecher's guns; he shared Almeida's scars,
And from the close-packed deck, about to die,
Looked up and saw the "Birkenhead"'s tall spars
Weave wavering lines across the Southern sky:

Or in the stifling 'tween decks, row on row,
At Aboukir, saw how the dead men lay;
Charged with the fiercest in Busaco's strife,
Brave dreams are his -- the flick'ring lamp burns low --
Yet couraged for the battles of the day
He goes to stand full face to face with life.

More great poems below...

Written by John McCrae |


 Scarlet coats, and crash o' the band,
The grey of a pauper's gown,
A soldier's grave in Zululand,
And a woman in Brecon Town.
My little lad for a soldier boy, (Mothers o' Brecon Town!) My eyes for tears and his for joy When he went from Brecon Town, His for the flags and the gallant sights His for the medals and his for the fights, And mine for the dreary, rainy nights At home in Brecon Town.
They say he's laid beneath a tree, (Come back to Brecon Town!) Shouldn't I know? -- I was there to see: (It's far to Brecon Town!) It's me that keeps it trim and drest With a briar there and a rose by his breast -- The English flowers he likes the best That I bring from Brecon Town.
And I sit beside him -- him and me, (We're back to Brecon Town.
) To talk of the things that used to be (Grey ghosts of Brecon Town); I know the look o' the land and sky, And the bird that builds in the tree near by, And times I hear the jackals cry, And me in Brecon Town.
Golden grey on miles of sand The dawn comes creeping down; It's day in far off Zululand And night in Brecon Town.

Written by John McCrae |

In Due Season

 If night should come and find me at my toil,
When all Life's day I had, tho' faintly, wrought,
And shallow furrows, cleft in stony soil
Were all my labour: Shall I count it naught

If only one poor gleaner, weak of hand,
Shall pick a scanty sheaf where I have sown?
"Nay, for of thee the Master doth demand
Thy work: the harvest rests with Him alone.

Written by John McCrae |


 The day is past and the toilers cease;
The land grows dim 'mid the shadows grey,
And hearts are glad, for the dark brings peace
At the close of day.
Each weary toiler, with lingering pace, As he homeward turns, with the long day done, Looks out to the west, with the light on his face Of the setting sun.
Yet some see not (with their sin-dimmed eyes) The promise of rest in the fading light; But the clouds loom dark in the angry skies At the fall of night.
And some see only a golden sky Where the elms their welcoming arms stretch wide To the calling rooks, as they homeward fly At the eventide.
It speaks of peace that comes after strife, Of the rest He sends to the hearts He tried, Of the calm that follows the stormiest life -- God's eventide.

Written by John McCrae |

The Oldest Drama

 "It fell on a day, that he went out to his father to the reapers.
And he said unto his father, My head, my head.
And he said to a lad, Carry him to his mother.
And .
he sat on her knees till noon, and then died.
And she went up, and laid him on the bed.
And shut the door upon him and went out.
" Immortal story that no mother's heart Ev'n yet can read, nor feel the biting pain That rent her soul! Immortal not by art Which makes a long past sorrow sting again Like grief of yesterday: but since it said In simplest word the truth which all may see, Where any mother sobs above her dead And plays anew the silent tragedy.

Written by John McCrae |

In Flanders Field

 In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead.
Short days ago We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, Loved and were loved, and now we lie, In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe: To you from failing hands we throw The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die We shall not sleep, though poppies grow In Flanders fields.

Written by John McCrae |

The Anxious Dead

 O guns, fall silent till the dead men hear
Above their heads the legions pressing on:
(These fought their fight in time of bitter fear,
And died not knowing how the day had gone.
) O flashing muzzles, pause, and let them see The coming dawn that streaks the sky afar; Then let your mighty chorus witness be To them, and Caesar, that we still make war.
Tell them, O guns, that we have heard their call, That we have sworn, and will not turn aside, That we will onward till we win or fall, That we will keep the faith for which they died.
Bid them be patient, and some day, anon, They shall feel earth enwrapt in silence deep; Shall greet, in wonderment, the quiet dawn, And in content may turn them to their sleep.

Written by John McCrae |

The Harvest Of The Sea

 The earth grows white with harvest; all day long
The sickles gleam, until the darkness weaves
Her web of silence o'er the thankful song
Of reapers bringing home the golden sheaves.
The wave tops whiten on the sea fields drear, And men go forth at haggard dawn to reap; But ever 'mid the gleaners' song we hear The half-hushed sobbing of the hearts that weep.

Written by John McCrae |

Slumber Songs


Sleep, little eyes
That brim with childish tears amid thy play,
Be comforted! No grief of night can weigh
Against the joys that throng thy coming day.
Sleep, little heart! There is no place in Slumberland for tears: Life soon enough will bring its chilling fears And sorrows that will dim the after years.
Sleep, little heart! II Ah, little eyes Dead blossoms of a springtime long ago, That life's storm crushed and left to lie below The benediction of the falling snow! Sleep, little heart That ceased so long ago its frantic beat! The years that come and go with silent feet Have naught to tell save this -- that rest is sweet.
Dear little heart.

Written by John McCrae |

Upon Watts Picture Sic Transit

 "What I spent I had; what I saved, I lost; what I gave, I have.
" But yesterday the tourney, all the eager joy of life, The waving of the banners, and the rattle of the spears, The clash of sword and harness, and the madness of the strife; To-night begin the silence and the peace of endless years.
( One sings within.
) But yesterday the glory and the prize, And best of all, to lay it at her feet, To find my guerdon in her speaking eyes: I grudge them not, -- - they pass, albeit sweet.
The ring of spears, the winning of the fight, The careless song, the cup, the love of friends, The earth in spring -- - to live, to feel the light -- - 'Twas good the while it lasted: here it ends.
Remain the well-wrought deed in honour done, The dole for Christ's dear sake, the words that fall In kindliness upon some outcast one, -- - They seemed so little: now they are my All.

Written by John McCrae |

The Pilgrims

 An uphill path, sun-gleams between the showers,
Where every beam that broke the leaden sky
Lit other hills with fairer ways than ours;
Some clustered graves where half our memories lie;
And one grim Shadow creeping ever nigh:
And this was Life.
Wherein we did another's burden seek, The tired feet we helped upon the road, The hand we gave the weary and the weak, The miles we lightened one another's load, When, faint to falling, onward yet we strode: This too was Life.
Till, at the upland, as we turned to go Amid fair meadows, dusky in the night, The mists fell back upon the road below; Broke on our tired eyes the western light; The very graves were for a moment bright: And this was Death.

Written by John McCrae |

The Night Cometh

 Cometh the night.
The wind falls low, The trees swing slowly to and fro: Around the church the headstones grey Cluster, like children strayed away But found again, and folded so.
No chiding look doth she bestow: If she is glad, they cannot know; If ill or well they spend their day, Cometh the night.
Singing or sad, intent they go; They do not see the shadows grow; "There yet is time," they lightly say, "Before our work aside we lay"; Their task is but half-done, and lo! Cometh the night.

Written by John McCrae |

The Captain

 Here all the day she swings from tide to tide,
Here all night long she tugs a rusted chain,
A masterless hulk that was a ship of pride,
Yet unashamed: her memories remain.
It was Nelson in the `Captain', Cape St.
Vincent far alee, With the `Vanguard' leading s'uth'ard in the haze -- Little Jervis and the Spaniards and the fight that was to be, Twenty-seven Spanish battleships, great bullies of the sea, And the `Captain' there to find her day of days.
Right into them the `Vanguard' leads, but with a sudden tack The Spaniards double swiftly on their trail; Now Jervis overshoots his mark, like some too eager pack, He will not overtake them, haste he e'er so greatly back, But Nelson and the `Captain' will not fail.
Like a tigress on her quarry leaps the `Captain' from her place, To lie across the fleeing squadron's way: Heavy odds and heavy onslaught, gun to gun and face to face, Win the ship a name of glory, win the men a death of grace, For a little hold the Spanish fleet in play.
Ended now the "Captain"'s battle, stricken sore she falls aside Holding still her foemen, beaten to the knee: As the `Vanguard' drifted past her, "Well done, `Captain'," Jervis cried, Rang the cheers of men that conquered, ran the blood of men that died, And the ship had won her immortality.
Lo! here her progeny of steel and steam, A funnelled monster at her mooring swings: Still, in our hearts, we see her pennant stream, And "Well done, `Captain'," like a trumpet rings.