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Poem by Stephen Crane


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I stood musing in a black world,
Not knowing where to direct my feet.
And I saw the quick stream of men
Pouring ceaselessly,
Filled with eager faces,
A torrent of desire.
I called to them,
Where do you go? What do you see?
A thousand voices called to me.
A thousand fingers pointed.
Look! look! There!

I know not of it.
But, lo! In the far sky shone a radiance
Ineffable, divine --
A vision painted upon a pall;
And sometimes it was,
And sometimes it was not.
I hesitated.
Then from the stream
Came roaring voices,
Impatient:
Look! look! There!

So again I saw,
And leaped, unhesitant,
And struggled and fumed
With outspread clutching fingers.
The hard hills tore my flesh;
The ways bit my feet.
At last I looked again.
No radiance in the far sky,
Ineffable, divine;
No vision painted upon a pall;
And always my eyes ached for the light.
Then I cried in despair,
I see nothing! Oh, where do I go?
The torrent turned again its faces:
Look! look! There!

And at the blindness of my spirit
They screamed,
Fool! fool! fool!



Stephen Crane


Stephen Crane's other poems:
  1. Why do you strive for greatness, fool?
  2. The impact of a dollar upon the heart
  3. Once a man clambering to the housetops
  4. In heaven
  5. Mystic shadow, bending near me


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