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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
“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

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

I saw a man pursuing the horizon;
Round and round they sped.
I was disturbed at this;
I accosted the man.
"It is futile," I said,
"You can never—"

"You lie," he cried,
And ran on.