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Crane

Stephen Crane
1871-1900

 
"A slant of sun"

(From "War is Kind," 1899)

 

A slant of sun on dull brown walls,
A forgotten sky of bashful blue.

Toward God a mighty hymn,
A song of collisions and cries,
Rumbling wheels, hoof-beats, bells,
Welcomes, farewells, love-calls, final moans,
Voices of joy, idiocy, warning, despair,
The unknown appeals of brutes,
The chanting of flowers,
The screams of cut trees,
The senseless babble of hens and wise men
A cluttered incoherency that says at the stars:
"O God, save us!"

Once a man clambering to the housetops
Appealed to the heavens.
With a strong voice he called to the deaf spheres;
A warrior's shout he raised to the suns.
Lo, at last, there was a dot on the clouds,
And at last and at last
God the sky was filled with armies.

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