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John McCrae

Isandlwana

            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.

 
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About the poet
John McCrae
 
By the same poet
In Flanders Fields
The Anxious Dead
The Warrior
The Unconquered Dead
The Captain
The Song of the Derelict
Quebec
Then and Now
Unsolved
The Hope of My Heart
Penance
Slumber Songs
The Oldest Drama
Recompense
Mine Host
Equality
Anarchy
Disarmament
The Dead Master
The Harvest of the Sea
The Dying of Pere Pierre
Eventide
Upon Watts' Picture "Sic Transit"
A Song of Comfort
The Pilgrims
The Shadow of the Cross
The Night Cometh
In Due Season
 
Related books
John McCrae at amazon.com


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