by John McCrae
Amid my books I lived the hurrying years,
Disdaining kinship with my fellow man;
Alike to me were human smiles and tears,
I cared not whither Earth's great life-stream ran,
Till as I knelt before my mouldered shrine,
God made me look into a woman's eyes;
And I, who thought all earthly wisdom mine,
Knew in a moment that the eternal skies
Were measured but in inches, to the quest
That lay before me in that mystic gaze.
Surely I have been errant: it is best
That I should tread, with men their human ways.
God took the teacher, ere the task was learned,
And to my lonely books again I turned.
Source:In Flanders Fields, And Other Poems
G. P. Putnam's Sons, New York and London