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The Pilgrims

John McCrae 1872 (Guelph) – 1918 (Boulogne-sur-Mer)



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.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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John McCrae

Lieutenant Colonel John Alexander McCrae, MD was a Canadian poet, physician, author, artist and soldier during World War I, and a surgeon during the Second Battle of Ypres, in Belgium. more…

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