John McCrae

(30 November 1872 – 28 January 1918 / Guelph, Ontario)

Recompense Poem by John McCrae


I saw two sowers in Life's field at morn,
To whom came one in angel guise and said,
"Is it for labour that a man is born?
Lo: I am Ease. Come ye and eat my bread!"
Then gladly one forsook his task undone
And with the Tempter went his slothful way,
The other toiled until the setting sun
With stealing shadows blurred the dusty day.

Ere harvest time, upon earth's peaceful breast
Each laid him down among the unreaping dead.
"Labour hath other recompense than rest,
Else were the toiler like the fool," I said;
"God meteth him not less, but rather more
Because he sowed and others reaped his store."

Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

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