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25 John Imrie Poems

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Be encouraged by these uplifting poems by John Imrie. Born in 1846 in Glasgow, Scotland, John moved to Toronto, Canada in 1871. He held positions of a salesman and a foreman before he and D. L. Graham formed a partnership and established Imrie & Graham.

He wrote many poems and songs over the years, and to quote from the preface of his book, Songs and Miscellaneous Poems, "My style is simple, but none the less sincere, and my chief desire is to please, and encourage the toiling masses. That these humble heart-thoughts and aspirations for the present and future welfare of my fellow-countrymen, and humanity at large, may be accepted in the kindly spirit in which they have been composed..."

John Imrie
John Imrie
1846 - 1902


Favorite Poems by John Imrie


Popular John Imrie Short Poems:

  1. 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!



  2. 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 v 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!



  3. Friendship
    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!



  4. 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!



  5. 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!



  6. What Shall I Sing?
    Poet: John Imrie

    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!



  7. 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!



  8. 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!

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