I stood musing in a black world Poem

I stood musing in a black world | Poem by Stephen Crane


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,
“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 – Poet | Academy of American Poets

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