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Crane

Stephen Crane
1871-1900

 
"The trees in the garden..."

(From "War is Kind," 1899)

 

The trees in the garden rained flowers.
Children ran there joyously.
They gathered the flowers
Each to himself.
Now there were some
Who gathered great heaps
Having opportunity and skill
Until, behold, only chance blossoms
Remained for the feeble.

Then a little spindling tutor
Ran importantly to the father, crying:
"Pray, come hither!
See this unjust thing in your garden!"

But when the father had surveyed,
He admonished the tutor:
"Not so, small sage!
This thing is just.
For, look you,
Are not they who possess the flowers
Stronger, bolder, shrewder
Than they who have none?
Why should the strong
The beautiful strong
Why should they not have the flowers?"

Upon reflection, the tutor bowed to the ground.
"My lord," he said,
"The stars are displaced
"By this towering wisdom."

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