John Imrie Famous Poems

John Imrie was born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1846 and later moved to Canada in 1871. He was involved in various professions such as sales and foreman. His poetry is mostly about the welfare of the poor. He wanted the poor people to be able to stand on their own feet. He wanted to see society as equal. According to them, the distribution of wealth is not equal. His poetry became very popular especially among the poor people. Apart from this, he wanted to do something good for the country and the state. He will live forever in the hearts of the people even after he leaves the world.

What Shall I Sing?

Poet: John Imrie

John Imrie Famous Poems

Sing a merry, happy lay,
Bright as Summer’s golden day,
When the hours fly swift away,
Oh! sing of these to me!

Sing of birds, and bees, and flowers.
Sing of Flora’s lovely bowers,
Sing of early childhood’s hours.
Oh! sing of these to me!

Sing the songs that touch the heart,
Causing tears of joy to start, –
Sing of friends that never part.
Oh! sing of these to me!

Wooing like the gentle dove.
Sing of happiness and love,
Sing of brighter joys above
Oh! sing of these to me!

Sing of these, and I shall sing,
As if borne on angel’s wing
To the presence of the King,
There evermore to be!


Is This Life Worth Living?

Poet: John Imrie

“Is this life worth living ” you ask;
Perhaps not – to those who repine,
And murmur at life’s daily task,
Commencing each day with a whine!

The cowards who fret at their lot,
And listlessly pass time away,
Are not worth the six-by- three plot,”
Or the shroud that’ll wrap their dead clay!

Yes, life is worth living! thank God!
To those who are honest and true;
Who smile at misfortune, and plod
Till success doth crown them anew!

Oh! life is God’s blessing to man.
Though ever so humble our lot;
Let each do the good that he can, –
‘Tis better to “wear out” than rot!

Then, let not a murmur be heard.
Let duty encompass each hour;
Thank God for the life that is spar’d,-
In labor is honor and power!


The Star Of Love

Poet: John Imrie

Is Love a star?
Yes, ’tis a star
Of heav’nly magnitude afar;
In darkest night
The purest light,
No baneful doubt should ever mar.

It is a star –
The Polar star –
That guides the sailor on the sea,
Where’er he roam,
To love and home,
Across- the boundless ocean free.

Storms may arise
In life’s pure skies,
And gathering clouds bedim our day;
But Love’s bright eye.
Like star in sky.
Will seek to guide us on our way!

Love reigns supreme.
An endless theme,
Love rules the world with gentle hand;
As captives, we
Desire to be
Encircl’d with her golden band!


Seeking After Knowledge

Poet: John Imrie

Wisdom is the true currency of Heaven,
From fools withheld, but to the prudent given;
In her pursuit let us in earnest be.
If we would prosper, therefore, let us see
That all our energies be so combin’d
As best to cultivate the heart and mind.
This occupation is the best that can
Engage the youth, or occupy the man
In leisure hours, which, be they rightly spent,
Are of great moment, and by Heaven lent
To sweeten toil, and relaxation give
To dull and cank’ring cares, which, while we live,
Must be our lot; our time, then, let us spend
As best becomes us, knowing not our end!


The Believer’s Refuge

Poet: John Imrie

‘Tis sweet to feel that God is near
In times of trouble or distress, –
To quell the doubt, or calm the fear,
To pardon, comfort, heal and bless.

When all around is dark and drear,
And sorrow shades the brow with care,
How sweet to know that God will hear
The anxious soul’s imploring prayer.

How sweet to lean upon that arm,
And in its strength a refuge find;
Secure from every fear or harm.
Which would disturb our peace of mind.

Jesus, thou Refuge ever sure,
Where all is peace, and joy, and rest;
Safe as the rock that doth endure,
Oh! let me lean upon Thy breast.

Then let the world its warfare wage,
And Satan tempt my heart with pride;
Let friends disown, and scoilers rage.
To turn my heart from Thee aside –

They all shall fail! but Thou alone
Shalt be my portion evermore;
I’ll cling to Thee – the world disown –
Thy love confess – and Thee adore!


The Golden Rule

Poet: John Imrie

Speak a kind word when you can,
Kind words cost but little,
This is far the better plan,
Human hearts are brittle.

Life is all too short for strife,
Peace and love are golden;
For they serve to lengthen life,
So say sages olden!

Let us lend a helping hand
To each weary brother.
Are we not a pilgrim band
Bound to one another?

Our reward shall greater be
When we get to heaven,
If to duty faithfully
We have daily striven!

Life to us is like a school
Where our good behaviour
Should be as “the Golden Rule “
Taught us by our Saviour –

“Do to others as you would
That they should do to you;”
Then shall we be truly good.
And life’s regrets be few!



Poet: John Imrie

The friendship of the good and true
Is more to me than gold,
And, while I welcome one that’s new,
I’ll treasure well the old;
Old friends are like the goodly tree
Whose leafy branches throw
A grateful shelter over me
When adverse winds may blow!


A Birthday Wish

Poet: John Imrie

Birthday greetings now I send,
Full of gladness, love, and joy,
May this year, my loving friend,
Bring thee peace without alloy;
Keep this token as a charm.
Proof of Friendship ever dear,
Fain would I shield thee from harm
All this happy golden year!


The Dead-Beat

Poet: John Imrie

Let’s beware of “the man” who scorns to work,
Yet dare not refrain from eating!
In the core of his heart doth meanness lurk,
In spite of his bland, fair greeting!

He may talk and look like “a gentleman,”
And dress in the height of fashion;
He’ll “run on credit ” wherever he can,
If “dunn’d ” – gets into a passion!

He will oft-times talk of religion, too.
And pray with seeming devotion;
He may go to church, yet pay for a pew –
Of that he ne’er had a notion!

He carries his head like an English lord.
Though he sometimes tastes of hunger!
He will eat at the widow’s frugal board.
And “skip” when she “trusts” no longer!

His heart is devoid of affection dear, –
He’d live off his poor old mother!
And will sponge” on his friends both far and near,
Claiming each one for a brother!

Oh! out on the man with a heart of stone.
Who knows not the pleasure of giving;
Who will whimper, and whine, and beg, and groan –
“That the world owes him a living!”

He who “will not work ” should not dare to eat
The bread of another’s earning;
For rather a thousand times sweep the street,
Thereby independence learning!


Happy Childhood

Poet: John Imrie

Happy childhood, full of smiles,
All the livelong day;
Winsome ways and cunning wiles,
Ever fond of play.

How our hearts with pleasure beat,
Feeling young and gay;
When we see them on the street,
Sadness flies away!

Care or sorrow hath no part
In life’s early day,
Thine the light and happy heart,
Singing merrily!

Like the flowers of early Spring
O’er the meadows cast,
Sweetness to our hearts they bring.
Dear mem’ries of the past.

But the future, who can tell
What their lot may be?
God, who doeth all things well.
Keep them pure and free!


Heart Questioning

Poet: John Imrie

What stirs an emotion
As deep as’ the ocean,
And strong as the hills that tower above?
‘Tis the sound of a sigh,
As the zephyrs go by,
That tells in a breath the presence of Love!

What is seen in the glance,
As true lovers advance,
That kindles a flame which never can die?
‘Tis a spark from above,
From the altar of Love,
Dropp’d unerringly down from on high!

As the loving hands clasp,
What is told in the grasp
That quickens the pulse and glows on the cheek?
‘Tis ” the story of old,”
In that loving enfold,
The language of Love that words cannot speak!

Whence the tones that can thrill,
Without effort or will.
And woo the heart’s fond admiration?
They are notes from the choir,
With the golden lyre.
Tuned by Love’s sublime inspiration!

Oh! from whence comes the bliss
Of love’s first fervent kiss,
That rapturous outflow of feeling?
‘Tis a faint echo given
Of earth’s foretaste of Heaven,
By fond hearts their fulness revealing!

Whence the breathings of soul
That defies our control,
Those sweet communings of heart with heart?
‘Tis a gift from above,
‘Tis the token of love,
Once possesss’d, time or death cannot part!



by John Imrie

When evening shades are falling fast,
Long shadows on the ground are cast,
The western sky is all aglow
With fiery glory sotting low;
The hill-tops glance with changing hue,
A noble back-ground to the view,
As mountain, river, lake, and plain.
Are bathed in glory once again!

Sweet evening hours! suggesting rest,
To weary toilers thou art blest;
See yonder cottage at whose door
The children look for “Pa” once more,
And by the welcome they impart
Lid all the cares of day depart;
Domestic joys arc life’s sweet flowers.
Full blooming in the evening hours;

As evening deepens into night,
A host of stars shed purest light;
Fair Luna comes upon the scene,
With halo of bright, silv’ry sheen,
To woo the lover out to stroll
The shady walks with love-lit soul,
And pour into the maiden ear
The soulful words she loves to hear!

At last the midnight hour is past,
The stillness of the grave is cast
On all around with potent spell, —
The day is past and all is well!
For Israel’s God doth ever keep
His watchful eye o’er those who sleep;
Tired Nature rests, while God alone
With heavenly love protects His own!


Lord, I Believe!

by John Imrie

“Lord, I believe!” yet oft I fear,
My faith is like the mustard seed;
‘Tis then I pray that Thou be near –
A present help in time of need!

“Lord, I believe” Thy promise true,
That Thou art near to those who seek;
The fainting heart Thou wilt renew
And words of heavenly comfort speak!

“Lord, I believe!” though vision fails
To see the Hand that points the way;
That man who trusts in Thee prevails,
Nor sin, nor death, o’er him holds sway!

“Lord, I believe” that Thou hast died
To save me from the power of sin;
Then let me near to Thee abide
Till Thou to glory draw me in!


True Love

Poet: John Imrie

‘Tis a magic spell,
Which lovers know well,
In sunshine and shower the same;
Ever old, yet new,
Both constant and true,
And seeks neither self nor fame.

Unheard or confest,
As seemeth it best,
Its tale it may never unfold;
Yet all know the pow’r
Of Love’s happy hour,
Its memory never grows old!

‘Tis a golden key.
Be it sigh or plea,
That opens the door of the heart;
And treasures untold
Doth ever unfold,
Which riches could never impart.

Then cherish with care
A jewel so rare,
And dim not its lustre with scorn;
‘Twill lighten the gloom
From cradle, to tomb,
And heal the heart bleeding and torn.

Love never can die.
Its home is on high,
And God will yet claim what He gives;
And love He hath giv’n.
To make earth a heav’n.
True love in the heart ever lives!


Good-bye Means Not Farewell

by John Imrie

“Good-bye! good-bye! ” what kindly words,
As they fall on the parting ear,
Like the singing of summer birds,
With their wonderful power to cheer;
Their meaning true —
With kiss and sigh —
“Good-bye! good-bye!”

“Good-bye! good-bye! ” means not “Farewell!”
But a wish for our Father’s care!
How sweet when hearts their fullness tell
In the words of that loving prayer;
“Good-bye! good-bye!”
May God be nigh;
The meaning true —

These words are sometimes idly said,
Like passing sunbeams on the wall,
And on the heart fall cold and dead,
‘Tis then no fervent prayer at all.
But plain — ”Good-bye!” —
A formal cry,
No kiss nor sigh.
Ah, friends! — why? why?

Remember, when you say — ” Good-bye!’
Life is uncertain, short, and fleet;
Then, let the love-light in your eye
Show friendship’s bond is strong and sweet
Thus, hand-in-hand,
Friends understand
The meaning true —


The Old Year And The New

by John Imrie

Listen to the midnight bell,
Tolling out the old year’s knell,
O’er our hearts there comes a spell
Such as when we say — ”Farewell!”
As we ponder o’er the past.
Eyes are dim and overcast,
Silent falls full many a tear
As we part with thee — Old Year!

Seasons come and seasons go,
Summer’s flowers and Winter’s snow,
Like the ocean’s ebb and flow, —
Joy and pain, and weal and woe!
Birthday greetings — glad and gay-
Wedded hearts were linked for aye,
Not a churchyard but a mound
Tells what reaper Death has found.

Yet we welcome thee, New Year,
And approach thee without fear,
Though we know not what may be
Portion’d out for us in thee;
Let us hope, and watch, and pray,
Growing wiser day by day;
Learning lessons from the past,
As this year may be our last!

Though the Old Year now must go,
Shrouded in a sheet of snow!
May the snow an emblem be
Of the New Year’s purity!
As our footsteps in the snow
Show the path we wish to go,
May each day our record be —
Coming nearer, God, to Thee!


To My Friends

by John Imrie

Friends of my earliest days and years,
Ye who dispell’d my infant fears,
And o’er me spent your prayers and tears,
Father, Mother;
And let me pay a tribute meet
To those who watch’d my infant feet,
And shower’d on me their kisses sweet,
Sister, Brother.

Friends of my school-days or of play,
When all was joyous, bright, and gay,
Companions dear of life’s spring-day,
Again we meet;
As memory paints the scenes anew,
In colours of the brightest hue.
When life was good, and pure, and true.
And friendship sweet.

Friends of those years when hopes were high,
And hearts beat true, and love was nigh.
And echoes woke which ne’er shall die,
But echoes give;
While fleeting years roll on apace,
Within my heart there is a place
That bears the likeness of each face.
And thoughts that live!

Friends dead and gone — friends far and near —
Friends tried and true — friends ever dear,
Though sunder’d far, yet all are here,
Close to my heart;
And all along life’s rugged way
The smile of friendship crowns the day,
And hearts are young though heads be grey : —
Friends never part!


The Brotherhood Of Man

by John Imrie

Our Father – God, His children – we,
No matter where our birthplace be –
Mid Arctic snows, or torrid clime,
One family since the first of time!

We should not bind our fellow-man,
Though he be yellow, black, or tan –
Or seek to keep him trodden down
By haughty sneer, or cruel frown.

A mother’s love, like that of Heav’n,
Alike to all her sons is giv’n, –
All men are free as God’s pure air.
And all alike His image bear.

Far better we should ever try
To ease the load, or soothe the sigh;
Each other’s burdens kindly bear,
Each other’s joys or sorrows share!

How can we pray to God above.
And daily seek His care and love.
Unless our hearts for others’ woe
With sympathetic love o’erflow ?


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