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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 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.

More great poems below...

Written by John McCrae |



Of old, like Helen, guerdon of the strong --
Like Helen fair, like Helen light of word, --
"The spoils unto the conquerors belong.
Who winneth me must win me by the sword.
" Grown old, like Helen, once the jealous prize That strong men battled for in savage hate, Can she look forth with unregretful eyes, Where sleep Montcalm and Wolfe beside her gate?

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.

Written by John McCrae |

Then And Now

 Beneath her window in the fragrant night
I half forget how truant years have flown
Since I looked up to see her chamber-light,
Or catch, perchance, her slender shadow thrown
Upon the casement; but the nodding leaves
Sweep lazily across the unlit pane,
And to and fro beneath the shadowy eaves,
Like restless birds, the breath of coming rain
Creeps, lilac-laden, up the village street
When all is still, as if the very trees
Were listening for the coming of her feet
That come no more; yet, lest I weep, the breeze
Sings some forgotten song of those old years
Until my heart grows far too glad for tears.

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 |


 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 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 |

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 |

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 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 |

The Dying Of Pere Pierre

with two other priests; the same night he died, and was buried by the shores of the lake that bears his name.
" Chronicle.
"Nay, grieve not that ye can no honour give To these poor bones that presently must be But carrion; since I have sought to live Upon God's earth, as He hath guided me, I shall not lack! Where would ye have me lie? High heaven is higher than cathedral nave: Do men paint chancels fairer than the sky?" Beside the darkened lake they made his grave, Below the altar of the hills; and night Swung incense clouds of mist in creeping lines That twisted through the tree-trunks, where the light Groped through the arches of the silent pines: And he, beside the lonely path he trod, Lay, tombed in splendour, in the House of God.

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 |

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.