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About this Poem 

“LXV [Once, I knew a fine song]” was published in The Black Riders and Other Lines (Copeland and Day, 1896).

LXV [Once, I knew a fine song]

Once, I knew a fine song,
—It is true, believe me,—
It was all of birds,
And I held them in a basket;
When I opened the wicket,
Heavens! They all flew away.
I cried, “Come back, little thoughts!”
But they only laughed.
They flew on
Until they were as sand
Thrown between me and the sky.

This poem is in the public domain. 

This poem is in the public domain. 

Stephen Crane

Stephen Crane

Stephen Crane, born in 1871, was a prolific writer of poetry and fiction.

by this poet

poem
There was, before me,
Mile upon mile
Of snow, ice, burning sand.
And yet I could look beyond all this,
To a place of infinite beauty;
And I could see the loveliness of her
Who walked in the shade of the trees.
When I gazed,
All was lost
But this place of beauty and her.
When I gazed,
And in my gazing, desired,
poem
“Truth," said a traveller, 
“Is a rock, a mighty fortress; 
“Often have I been to it, 
“Even to its highest tower, 
“From whence the world looks black.”

“Truth," said a traveller, 
“Is a breath, a wind, 
“A shadow, a phantom; 
“Long have I pursued it, 
“But never have I touched 
“The hem of its garment.”

And I
poem
You say you are holy,
And that
Because I have not seen you sin.
Aye, but there are those
Who see you sin, my friend.