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John McCrae

Penance

My lover died a century ago,
Her dear heart stricken by my sland'rous breath,
Wherefore the Gods forbade that I should know
                    The peace of death.

Men pass my grave, and say, "'Twere well to sleep,
Like such an one, amid the uncaring dead!"
How should they know the vigils that I keep,
                    The tears I shed?

Upon the grave, I count with lifeless breath,
Each night, each year, the flowers that bloom and die,
Deeming the leaves, that fall to dreamless death,
                    More blest than I.

'Twas just last year — I heard two lovers pass
So near, I caught the tender words he said:
To-night the rain-drenched breezes sway the grass
                    Above his head.

That night full envious of his life was I,
That youth and love should stand at his behest;
To-night, I envy him, that he should lie
                    At utter rest.

 
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About the poet
John McCrae
 
By the same poet
In Flanders Fields
The Anxious Dead
The Warrior
Isandlwana
The Unconquered Dead
The Captain
The Song of the Derelict
Quebec
Then and Now
Unsolved
The Hope of My Heart
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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