The Black Riders and Other Lines is a book of poetry written by American author Stephen Crane (1871–1900). It was first published in 1895 by Copeland & Day.
Black riders came from the sea.
Three little birds in a row
In the Desert
Yes, I have a thousand tongues
Once there came a man
God fashioned the ship of the world carefully
Mystic shadow, bending near me,
I looked here
I stood upon a high place,
Should the wide world roll away,
In a lonely place,
"And the sins of the fathers shall be"
If there is a witness to my little life,
There was a crimson clash of war.
"Tell brave deeds of war."
There were many who went in huddled procession
A god in wrath
A learned man came to me once
There was, before me
Once I saw mountains angry
Places among the stars
I saw a man pursuing the horizon
Behold, the grave of a wicked man
There was set before me a mighty hill
A youth in apparel that glittered
"Truth," said a traveller
Behold, from the land of the farther suns
Supposing that I should have the courage
Two or three angels
There was one I met upon the road
I stood upon a highway
A man saw a ball of gold in the sky
I met a seer
On the horizon the peaks assembled
The ocean said to me once
The livid lightnings flashed in the clouds
And you love me
Love walked alone
I walked in a desert
There came whisperings in the winds
I was in the darkness
Tradition, thou art for suckling children
Many red devils ran from my heart
"Think as I think," said a man
Once there was a man
I stood musing in a black world
You say you are holy
A man went before a strange God
Why do you strive for greatness, fool?
"It was wrong to do this," said the angel
A man toiled on a burning road
A man feared that he might find an assassin
With eye and with gesture
The sage lectured brilliantly
Walking in the sky
Upon the road of my life
There was a man and a woman
There was a man who lived a life of fire
There was a great cathedral
Friend, your white beard sweeps the ground
Once, I knew a fine song
If I should cast off this tattered coat
God lay dead in heaven
A spirit sped
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About the Author
The ninth surviving child of Protestant Methodist parents, Crane began writing at the age of four and had published several articles by the age of 16. Having little interest in university studies, he left college in 1891 to work as a reporter and writer. Crane's first novel was the 1893 Bowery tale Maggie: A Girl of the Streets, generally considered by critics to be the first work of American literary Naturalism. He won international acclaim in 1895 for his Civil War novel The Red Badge of Courage, which he wrote without having any battle experience.
As a child, Stephen was often sickly and afflicted by constant colds. When the boy was almost two, his father wrote in his diary that his youngest son became "so sick that we are anxious about him."
In four years, Crane published five novels, two volumes of poetry, three short story collections, two books of war stories, and numerous works of short fiction and reporting. Today he is mainly remembered for The Red Badge of Courage, which is regarded as an American classic. The novel has been adapted several times for the screen, including John Huston's 1951 version.