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Poem 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 mothers heart
Evn 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.



John McCrae


John McCrae's other poems:
  1. The Harvest of the Sea
  2. The Shadow of the Cross
  3. Anarchy
  4. Quebec
  5. The Dead Master


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