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

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The Hope Of My Heart

"Delicta juventutis et ignorantius ejus, quoesumus ne memineris, Domine."



I left, to earth, a little maiden fair,
With locks of gold, and eyes that shamed the light;
I prayed that God might have her in His care
And sight.

Earth's love was false; her voice, a siren's song;
(Sweet mother-earth was but a lying name)
The path she showed was but the path of wrong
And shame.

"Cast her not out!" I cry. God's kind words come --
"Her future is with Me, as was her past;
It shall be My good will to bring her home
At last."

Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002


Read poems about / on: future, song, mother, home, god, hope, light, heart

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Comments about this poem (The Anxious Dead by John McCrae )

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  • Sally Plumb Plumb (8/30/2013 5:27:00 AM)

    Fabulous.

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Aftab Alam Khursheed (8/30/2013 2:32:00 AM)

    A lovely amazing poem wonderful ..

  • Angelina Sabia (5/14/2012 6:40:00 PM)

    This poem is amazing! I love how the words flow. Check out my peom The Bully I think you might like it.

  • Terence George Craddock (5/15/2010 1:29:00 AM)

    The Hope Of My Heart by John McCrae is a poem which reflects social reality and I believe McCraes’s heartfelt hope, that children who suffer an unfortunate life on this earth, will attain a promised heavenly hope. McCrae realizes that despite the best efforts and goodwill of dedicated individuals, the lives of many children will never be happy or prosperous. The poem is a metaphor about life and the fate of many destitute unfortunate and ill children.
    McCrae never married, but worked as a physician in many hospitals and in private practice. This poem incorporates the fate of many children into the image of one beautiful ‘little maiden fair, /With locks of gold, and eyes that shamed the light; ’ who has been ‘left, to earth, ’ orphaned abandoned ill or in inappropriate guardianship. McCrae completed his medical residency at a children's convalescent home and later worked as a pathologist in a Foundling and Baby Hospital, before studying Infectious Diseases.
    In stanza one, McCrae prays to God to keep ‘her in His care /And sight.’ This is a prayer for all the suffering children McCrae works with and cares so much for. Stanza two is accurate social reality, ‘(Sweet mother-earth was but a lying name) ’. This personification of earth is false, mother-nature is cruel, ‘her voice, (is) a siren's song; ’ calling many ill children McCrae has as patients to their death. ‘The path she (mother-earth) showed was but the path of wrong /And shame’, is a comment about social injustice, cruelty, exploitation and irresponsibility.
    In stanza three McCrae cries to God 'Cast her not out! ' and God kindly answers his prayers telling him, that her future past and eternity is with him. McCrae ends his poem with this absolutely beautiful affirmation of faith
    'Her future is with Me, as was her past;
    It shall be My good will to bring her home
    At last.'

  • Jo Bobenhouse Smith (5/14/2010 4:36:00 PM)

    sadly, i can only guess at the first line.

    This poem gains strength with each successive reading. If it was in a book my fingers would probably soothe it.

  • Emma_1221@list.ru Adamyan (5/14/2010 1:33:00 PM)

    I liked it all, from the tittle to the point. Got it`s class

  • Valerian Lemos (5/14/2010 12:51:00 PM)

    One can imagine the intense grief felt by the poet who has to leave his beloved daughter in the 'care' of his worldly 'caretakers' who sometimes turn out to be extortionists, rapists, dowry-demanders, and what not. Let us hope that the love of his heart blossoms like a lotus amidst the serene waters of an isolated, shallow pond, away from the prying eyes of all.

  • Kevin Straw (5/14/2010 4:42:00 AM)

    He did not do well to leave a maid to the attentions of the world. He should have ensured in his life that she had a trusted guardian when he died. This was written at a time when orphans (I presume she was his child) had a hard time of it from a nominally Christian society. The promise of Heaven is a poor exchange for such a life as this poor girl led.

  • Ramesh T A (5/14/2010 3:09:00 AM)

    Everyone is under the care of God! When this so even our loved ones will be taken care of by God though we leave the Earth one day or other! The message is clear!

  • Chatara Conway (5/14/2009 12:44:00 PM)

    I think this is a thoughtful poem, and I hope you continue to write.
    Thanks for sharing!

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