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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, born in 1871, was a prolific writer of poetry and fiction and considered a foundation of American naturalism.

by this poet

poem

A man said to the universe:
“Sir, I exist!”
“However,” replied the universe,
“The fact has not created in me
A sense of obligation.”

poem
Do not weep, maiden, for war is kind.
Because your lover threw wild hands toward the sky
And the affrighted steed ran on alone,
Do not weep.
War is kind.

   Hoarse, booming drums of the regiment
   Little souls who thirst for fight,
   These men were born to drill and die
   The unexplained glory flies above
poem

In the desert
I saw a creature, naked, bestial,
Who, squatting upon the ground,
Held his heart in his hands,
And ate of it.
I said, “Is it good, friend?”
“It is bitter—bitter,” he answered;

“But I like it
“Because it is bitter,
“And because it is my heart.”