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Poem 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 Christs dear sake, the words that fall 
In kindliness upon some outcast one, -- - 
They seemed so little: now they are my All.



John McCrae


John McCrae's other poems:
  1. Equality
  2. Eventide
  3. The Anxious Dead
  4. The Captain
  5. The Dying of Pere Pierre


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