John McCrae

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

Anarchy - Poem by John McCrae

I saw a city filled with lust and shame,
Where men, like wolves, slunk through the grim half-light;
And sudden, in the midst of it, there came
One who spoke boldly for the cause of Right.

And speaking, fell before that brutish race
Like some poor wren that shrieking eagles tear,
While brute Dishonour, with her bloodless face
Stood by and smote his lips that moved in prayer.

"Speak not of God! In centuries that word
Hath not been uttered! Our own king are we."
And God stretched forth his finger as He heard
And o'er it cast a thousand leagues of sea.

Comments about Anarchy by John McCrae

  • (9/28/2018 4:48:00 PM)

    McCrae's response to Nietzsche?
    “Have you not heard of that madman who lit a lantern in the bright morning hours, ran to the market place, and cried incessantly: I seek God! I seek God! … Whither is God? he cried; I will tell you. We have killed him - you and I. All of us are his murderers...How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? ... Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it?
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  • (6/4/2018 2:27:00 AM)

    great better than fatal because not many people go there and its close to loot lake thank you for your likes and bye (Report) Reply

  • Kumarmani Mahakul (3/27/2017 9:42:00 PM)

    It is a heart felt poem on lust and shame having deep diction. Let me quote... And speaking, fell before that brutish race
    Like some poor wren that shrieking eagles tear,
    While brute Dishonour, with her bloodless face. Thanks
    (Report) Reply

  • Kevin Patrick (3/27/2017 11:47:00 AM)

    A biblical poem from the dawn of the 20th century, there is a lot of Victorian rhetoric in this that reminds me of the age it comes from. (Report) Reply

  • (3/27/2017 3:41:00 AM)

    a poetic message that is always going to be relevant to mankind? who will never listen whilst diamonds and gold glisten! .........well penned. (Report) Reply

  • Bernard F. Asuncion (3/27/2017 2:18:00 AM)

    A thousand leagues of sea.... thanks for posting... (Report) Reply

  • Rajnish Manga (3/27/2017 1:36:00 AM)

    A great philosophical poem with a profound message for the mankind who should not go by its vanity to fulfill its selfish objectives as reflected in these words- 'Our own king are we'. Thanks. (Report) Reply

  • Edward Kofi Louis (3/27/2017 12:51:00 AM)

    Lust and shame! ! Thanks for sharing this poem with us. (Report) Reply

  • Noreen Carden (12/11/2014 10:05:00 AM)

    John congratulations on your poem being named poem of the day. It is a very powerful piece. Beautifully written (Report) Reply

  • Sagnik Chakraborty (12/11/2014 5:14:00 AM)

    Beautiful poetic portrayal of a society void of justice, where big fish feed off small fish ('Matsyanyay' in Sanskrit) , and its ultimate road to perdition! I loved the brevity of expression! (Report) Reply

  • David L. Hatton (12/11/2013 5:22:00 PM)

    A superb example of how poetry succinctly captures a primal truth: that the fitting dissolution of ungovernable free-will creatures is wrought by nature's obedience to the corrective will of the sovereign and just Law-Giver. Never better said! (Report) Reply

  • (12/11/2013 3:03:00 PM)

    You describe the world during Noah's day before the worldwide flood. You have also described much of today's contemporary society. You also described both God's reaction, but also His redemption, (Report) Reply

  • (2/11/2013 9:04:00 PM)

    Such a great poem. I love how it describe's God's reaction. The poet is truly talented in his works. (Report) Reply

  • Dimu Eric Olowoparija (12/12/2012 12:09:00 AM)

    Like the title suggests its real anarchy. And a case of over reaction on both sides.still its a good poem. (Report) Reply

  • (12/11/2012 4:29:00 PM)

    Excellent, truly explicit and direct! (Report) Reply

  • Zine Hadjira (12/11/2012 2:39:00 PM)

    Speak not of God! In centuries that word
    Hath not been uttered! Our own king are we.


    I like this om very much
    (Report) Reply

  • Ronald Shields (12/11/2012 2:36:00 PM)

    typical god...always overreacting (Report) Reply

  • Walani Ndhlovu (12/11/2012 12:44:00 PM)

    what a nice picture is created in my eye as i read this poem (Report) Reply

  • Sarrah Ibrahim (12/11/2012 9:52:00 AM)

    By far one of my fav poems in here! ! Thanks! (Report) Reply

  • (12/11/2011 1:48:00 AM)

    The poet deeply touches the cry of this modern era in which man finds himself as everything! Godless, fearless, valueless moribund world in which man finds himself supreme but the truth is, he is leading anarchic life! The poet has used wise imagery and it is highly educative. (Report) Reply

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Read poems about / on: lust, city, sea, god, light

Poem Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

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