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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 |


 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 |

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.

More great poems below...

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 |


 One spake amid the nations, "Let us cease
From darkening with strife the fair World's light,
We who are great in war be great in peace.
No longer let us plead the cause by might.
" But from a million British graves took birth A silent voice -- the million spake as one -- "If ye have righted all the wrongs of earth Lay by the sword! Its work and ours is done.

Written by John McCrae |

The Hope Of My Heart

 "Delicta juventutis et ignorantius ejus, quoesumus ne memineris, Domine.
" I left, to earth, a little maiden fair, With locks of gold, and eyes that shamed the light; I prayed that God might have her in His care And sight.
Earth's love was false; her voice, a siren's song; (Sweet mother-earth was but a lying name) The path she showed was but the path of wrong And shame.
"Cast her not out!" I cry.
God's kind words come -- "Her future is with Me, as was her past; It shall be My good will to bring her home At last.

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 |

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 |


 Amid my books I lived the hurrying years,
Disdaining kinship with my fellow man;
Alike to me were human smiles and tears,
I cared not whither Earth's great life-stream ran,
Till as I knelt before my mouldered shrine,
God made me look into a woman's eyes;
And I, who thought all earthly wisdom mine,
Knew in a moment that the eternal skies
Were measured but in inches, to the quest
That lay before me in that mystic gaze.
"Surely I have been errant: it is best That I should tread, with men their human ways.
" God took the teacher, ere the task was learned, And to my lonely books again I turned.

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 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.

Written by John McCrae |

The Dead Master

 Amid earth's vagrant noises, he caught the note sublime:
To-day around him surges from the silences of Time
A flood of nobler music, like a river deep and broad,
Fit song for heroes gathered in the banquet-hall of God.

Written by John McCrae |

The Unconquered Dead

defeated, with great loss.
" Not we the conquered! Not to us the blame Of them that flee, of them that basely yield; Nor ours the shout of victory, the fame Of them that vanquish in a stricken field.
That day of battle in the dusty heat We lay and heard the bullets swish and sing Like scythes amid the over-ripened wheat, And we the harvest of their garnering.
Some yielded, No, not we! Not we, we swear By these our wounds; this trench upon the hill Where all the shell-strewn earth is seamed and bare, Was ours to keep; and lo! we have it still.
We might have yielded, even we, but death Came for our helper; like a sudden flood The crashing darkness fell; our painful breath We drew with gasps amid the choking blood.
The roar fell faint and farther off, and soon Sank to a foolish humming in our ears, Like crickets in the long, hot afternoon Among the wheat fields of the olden years.
Before our eyes a boundless wall of red Shot through by sudden streaks of jagged pain! Then a slow-gathering darkness overhead And rest came on us like a quiet rain.
Not we the conquered! Not to us the shame, Who hold our earthen ramparts, nor shall cease To hold them ever; victors we, who came In that fierce moment to our honoured peace.

Written by John McCrae |


 I saw two sowers in Life's field at morn,
To whom came one in angel guise and said,
"Is it for labour that a man is born?
Lo: I am Ease.
Come ye and eat my bread!" Then gladly one forsook his task undone And with the Tempter went his slothful way, The other toiled until the setting sun With stealing shadows blurred the dusty day.
Ere harvest time, upon earth's peaceful breast Each laid him down among the unreaping dead.
"Labour hath other recompense than rest, Else were the toiler like the fool," I said; "God meteth him not less, but rather more Because he sowed and others reaped his store.

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.