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About this poet

Stephen Crane was born in Newark, New Jersey, in 1871. His books include the poetry collections The Black Riders and Other Lines (Copeland & Day, 1895), War Is Kind (Frederick A. Stokes, 1899), and most famously, the novel, The Red Badge of Courage (D. Appleton & Co., 1895). He died in June of 1900.

XXXV [A man saw a ball of gold in the sky]

A man saw a ball of gold in the sky; 
He climbed for it, 
And eventually he achieved it—
It was clay. 

Now this is the strange part: 
When the man went to the earth 
And looked again, 
Lo, there was the ball of gold. 
Now this is the strange part: 
It was a ball of gold. 
Aye, by the heavens, it was a ball of gold.

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
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.”
 

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