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

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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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"Upon Watts' Picture Sic Transit" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 3 Apr. 2020. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/23788/upon-watts'-picture-sic-transit>.

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