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65 Works of Stephen Crane

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The Blue Hotel

Story type: Literature

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I The Palace Hotel at Fort Romper was painted a light blue, a shade that is on the legs of a kind of heron, causing the bird to declare its position against any background. The Palace Hotel, then, was always screaming and howling in a way that made the dazzling winter landscape of Nebraska seem […]

I The great pullman was whirling onward with such dignity of motion that a glance from the window seemed simply to prove that the plains of Texas were pouring eastward. Vast flats of green grass, dull-hued spaces of mesquite and cactus, little groups of frame houses, woods of light and tender trees, all were sweeping […]

A Detail

Story type: Literature

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The tiny old lady in the black dress and curious little black bonnet had at first seemed alarmed at the sound made by her feet upon the stone pavements. But later she forgot about it, for she suddenly came into the tempest of the Sixth Avenue shopping district, where from the streams of people and […]

A Gray Sleeve

Story type: Literature

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I “It looks as if it might rain this afternoon,” remarked the lieutenant of artillery. “So it does,” the infantry captain assented. He glanced casually at the sky. When his eyes had lowered to the green-shadowed landscape before him, he said fretfully: “I wish those fellows out yonder would quit pelting at us. They’ve been […]

A Mystery of Heroism

Story type: Literature

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The dark uniforms of the men were so coated with dust from the incessant wrestling of the two armies that the regiment almost seemed a part of the clay bank which shielded them from the shells. On the top of the hill a battery was arguing in tremendous roars with some other guns, and to […]

The Little Regiment

Story type: Literature

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I The fog made the clothes of the column of men in the roadway seem of a luminous quality. It imparted to the heavy infantry overcoats a new color, a kind of blue which was so pale that a regiment might have been merely a long, low shadow in the mist. However, a muttering, one […]

I The girl was in the front room on the second floor, peering through the blinds. It was the “best room.” There was a very new rag carpet on the floor. The edges of it had been dyed with alternate stripes of red and green. Upon the wooden mantel there were two little puffy figures […]

An Experiment in Misery

Story type: Literature

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It was late at night, and a fine rain was swirling softly down, causing the pavements to glisten with hue of steel and blue and yellow in the rays of the innumerable lights. A youth was trudging slowly, without enthusiasm, with his hands buried deep in his trousers pockets, toward the downtown places where beds […]

The Mesmeric Mountain

Story type: Literature

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On the brow of a pine-plumed hillock there sat a little man with his back against a tree. A venerable pipe hung from his mouth, and smoke-wreaths curled slowly skyward, he was muttering to himself with his eyes fixed on an irregular black opening in the green wall of forest at the foot of the […]

One Dash-Horses

Story type: Literature

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Richardson pulled up his horse and looked back over the trail, where the crimson serape of his servant flamed amid the dusk of the mesquite. The hills in the west were carved into peaks, and were painted the most profound blue. Above them, the sky was of that marvelous tone of green—like still, sun-shot water—which […]

The Open Boat

Story type: Literature

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A TALE INTENDED TO BE AFTER THE FACT. BEING THE EXPERIENCE OF FOUR MEN SUNK FROM THE STEAMER COMMODORE. I NONE of them knew the color of the sky. Their eyes glanced level, and were fastened upon the waves that swept toward them. These waves were of the hue of slate, save for the tops, […]

I TWENTY-FIVE men were making a road out of a path up the hillside. The light batteries in the rear were impatient to advance, but first must be done all that digging and smoothing which gains no incrusted medals from war. The men worked like gardeners, and a road was growing from the old pack-animal […]

The Pace Of Youth

Story type: Literature

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I Stimson stood in a corner and glowered. He was a fierce man and had indomitable whiskers, albeit he was very small. “That young tarrier,” he whispered to himself.”He wants to quit makin’ eyes at Lizzie. This is too much of a good thing. First thing you know, he’ll get fired.” His brow creased in […]

An Indiana Campaign

Story type: Literature

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I When the able-bodied citizens of the village formed a company and marched away to the war, Major Tom Boldin assumed in a manner the burden of the village cares. Everybody ran to him when they felt obliged to discuss their affairs. The sorrows of the town were dragged before him. His little bench at […]

The Veteran

Story type: Literature

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Out of the low window could be seen three hickory trees placed irregularly in a meadow that was resplendent in spring-time green. Farther away, the old, dismal belfry of the village church loomed over the pines. A horse, meditating in the shade of one of the hickories, lazily swished his tail. The warm sunshine made […]

I have seen thy face aflame For love of me, Thy fair arms go mad, Thy lips tremble and mutter and rave. And–surely– This should leave a man content? Thou lovest not me now, But thou didst love me, And in loving me once Thou gavest me an eternal privilege, For I can think of […]

Love met me at noonday, –Reckless imp, To leave his shaded nights And brave the glare,– And I saw him then plainly For a bungler, A stupid, simpering, eyeless bungler, Breaking the hearts of brave people As the snivelling idiot-boy cracks his bowl, And I cursed him, Cursed him to and fro, back and forth, […]

I wonder if sometimes in the dusk, When the brave lights that gild thy evenings Have not yet been touched with flame, I wonder if sometimes in the dusk Thou rememberest a time, A time when thou loved me And our love was to thee thy all? Is the memory rubbish now? An old gown […]

And yet I have seen thee happy with me I am no fool To poll stupidly into iron. I have heard your quick breaths And seen your arms writhe toward me; At those times –God help us– I was impelled to be a grand knight, And swagger and snap my fingers, And explain my mind […]

I heard thee laugh, And in this merriment I defined the measure of my pain; I knew that I was alone, Alone with love, Poor shivering love, And he, little sprite, Came to watch with me, And at midnight, We were like two creatures by a dead camp-fire.

Once I saw thee idly rocking –Idly rocking– And chattering girlishly to other girls, Bell-voiced, happy, Careless with the stout heart of unscarred womanhood, And life to thee was all light melody. I thought of the great storms of love as I knew it, Torn, miserable, and ashamed of my open sorrow, I thought of […]

Tell me why, behind thee, I see always the shadow of another lover? Is it real, Or is this the thrice damned memory of a better happiness? Plague on him if he be dead, Plague on him if he be alive– A swinish numskull To intrude his shade Always between me and my peace!

Love, forgive me if I wish you grief, For in your grief You huddle to my breast, And for it Would I pay the price of your grief. You walk among men And all men do not surrender, And thus I understand That love reaches his hand In mercy to me. He had your picture […]

Ah, God, the way your little finger moved, As you thrust a bare arm backward And made play with your hair And a comb, a silly gilt comb –Ah, God–that I should suffer Because of the way a little finger moved.

Each small gleam was a voice, A lantern voice– In little songs of carmine, violet, green, gold. A chorus of colors came over the water; The wondrous leaf-shadow no longer wavered, No pines crooned on the hills, The blue night was elsewhere a silence, When the chorus of colors came over the water, Little songs […]

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 […]

Intrigue

Story type: Poetry

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Thou art my love, And thou art the peace of sundown When the blue shadows soothe, And the grasses and the leaves sleep To the song of the little brooks, Woe is me. Thou art my love, And thou art a strorm That breaks black in the sky, And, sweeping headlong, Drenches and cowers each […]

Aye, workman, make me a dream, A dream for my love. Cunningly weave sunlight, Breezes, and flowers. Let it be of the cloth of meadows. And–good workman– And let there be a man walking thereon.

There was one I met upon the road Who looked at me with kind eyes. He said: “Show me of your wares.” And I did, Holding forth one, He said: “It is a sin.” Then I held forth another. He said: “It is a sin.” Then I held forth another. He said: “It is a […]

When the prophet, a complacent fat man Arrived at the mountain-top, He cried: “Woe to my knowledge! “I intended to see good white lands “And bad black lands, “But the scene is grey.”

There was a land where lived no violets. A traveller at once demanded: “Why?” The people told him: “Once the violets of this place spoke thus: “‘Until some woman freely give her lover “‘To another woman “‘We will fight in bloody scuffle.’” Sadly the people added: “There are no violets here.”

A man said to the universe: “Sir, I exist!” “However,” replied the universe, “The fact has not created in me “A sense of obligation.”

The impact of a dollar upon the heart Smiles warm red light, Sweeping from the hearth rosily upon the white table, With the hanging cool velvet shadows Moving softly upon the door. The impact of a million dollars Is a crash of flunkys, And yawning emblems of Persia Cheeked against oak, France and a sabre, […]

Blood–blood and torn grass– Had marked the rise of his agony– This lone hunter. The grey-green woods impassive Had watched the threshing of his limbs. A canoe with flashing paddle, A girl with soft searching eyes, A call: “John!” . . . . . . . Come, arise, hunter! Can you not hear? The chatter […]

In The Night

Story type: Poetry

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In the night Grey heavy clouds muffled the valleys, And the peaks looked toward God alone. “O Master that movest the wind with a finger, “Humble, idle, futile peaks are we. “Grant that we may run swiftly across the world “To huddle in worship at Thy feet.” In the morning A noise of men at […]

The successful man has thrust himself Through the water of the years, Reeking wet with mistakes,– Bloody mistakes; Slimed with victories over the lesser, A figure thankful on the shore of money. Then, with the bones of fools He buys silken banners Limned with his triumphant face; With the skins of wise men He buys […]

There was a man with tongue of wood Who essayed to sing, And in truth it was lamentable. But there was one who heard The clip-clapper of this tongue of wood And knew what the man Wished to sing, And with that the singer was content.

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.

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 […]

The Wayfarer

Story type: Poetry

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The wayfarer, Perceiving the pathway to truth, Was struck with astonishment. It was thickly grown with weeds. “Ha,” he said, “I see that none has passed here “In a long time.” Later he saw that each weed Was a singular knife. “Well,” he mumbled at last, “Doubtless there are other roads.”

A newspaper is a collection of half-injustices Which, bawled by boys from mile to mile, Spreads its curious opinion To a million merciful and sneering men, While families cuddle the joys of the fireside When spurred by tale of dire lone agony. A newspaper is a court Where every one is kindly and unfairly tried […]

On The Desert

Story type: Poetry

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On the desert A silence from the moon’s deepest valley. Fire rays fall athwart the robes Of hooded men, squat and dumb. Before them, a woman Moves to the blowing of shrill whistles And distant thunder of drums, While mystic things, sinuous, dull with terrible color, Sleepily fondle her body Or move at her will, […]

Forth went the candid man And spoke freely to the wind– When he looked about him he was in a far strange country. Forth went the candid man And spoke freely to the stars– Yellow light tore sight from his eye. “My good fool,” said a learned bystander, “Your operations are mad.” “You are too […]

You tell me this is God? I tell you this is a printed list, A burning candle and an ass.

Fast rode the knight With spurs, hot and reeking, Ever waving an eager sword, “To save my lady!” Fast rode the knight, And leaped from saddle to war. Men of steel flickered and gleamed Like riot of silver lights, And the gold of the knight’s good banner Still waved on a castle wall. . . […]

“I have heard the sunset song of the birches, “A white melody in the silence, “I have seen a quarrel of the pines. “At nightfall “The little grasses have rushed by me “With the wind men. “These things have I lived,” quoth the maniac, “Possessing only eyes and ears. “But you– “You don green spectacles […]

I explain the silvered passing of a ship at night, The sweep of each sad lost wave, The dwindling boom of the steel thing’s striving, The little cry of a man to a man, A shadow falling across the greyer night, And the sinking of the small star; Then the waste, the far waste of […]

“Have you ever made a just man?” “Oh, I have made three,” answered God, “But two of them are dead, “And the third– “Listen! Listen! “And you will hear the thud of his defeat.”

To The Maiden

Story type: Poetry

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To the maiden The sea was blue meadow, Alive with little froth-people Singing. To the sailor, wrecked, The sea was dead grey walls Superlative in vacancy, Upon which nevertheless at fateful time Was written The grim hatred of nature.

A little ink more or less! It surely can’t matter? Even the sky and the opulent sea, The plains and the hills, aloof, Hear the uproar of all these books. But it is only a little ink more or less. What? You define me God with these trinkets? Can my misery meal on an ordered […]

What says the sea, little shell? “What says the sea? “Long has our brother been silent to us, “Kept his message for the ships, “Awkward ships, stupid ships.” “The sea bids you mourn, O Pines, “Sing low in the moonlight. “He sends tale of the land of doom, “Of place where endless falls “A rain […]

Do not weep, maiden, for war is kind Because your lover threw wild hands toward the sky And the affrighted steed ran on alone, Do not weep. War is kind. Hoarse, booming drums of the regiment, Little souls who thirst for fight, These men were born to drill and die. The unexplained glory files above […]

The Reluctant Voyagers

Story type: Literature

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CHAPTER I Two men sat by the sea waves. “Well, I know I’m not handsome,” said one gloomily. He was poking holes in the sand with a discontented cane. The companion was watching the waves play. He seemed overcome with perspiring discomfort as a man who is resolved to set another man right. Suddenly his […]

The End Of The Battle

Story type: Literature

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A sergeant, a corporal, and fourteen men of the Twelfth Regiment of the Line had been sent out to occupy a house on the main highway. They would be at least a half of a mile in advance of any other picket of their own people. Sergeant Morton was deeply angry at being sent on […]

The Scotch Express

Story type: Literature

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The entrance to Euston Station is of itself sufficiently imposing. It is a high portico of brown stone, old and grim, in form a casual imitation, no doubt, of the front of the temple of Nike Apteros, with a recollection of the Egyptians proclaimed at the flanks. The frieze, where of old would prance an […]

The Upturned Face

Story type: Literature

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“What will we do now?” said the adjutant, troubled and excited. “Bury him,” said Timothy Lean. The two officers looked down close to their toes where lay the body of their comrade. The face was chalk-blue; gleaming eyes stared at the sky. Over the two upright figures was a windy sound of bullets, and on […]

An Episode Of War

Story type: Literature

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The lieutenant’s rubber blanket lay on the ground, and upon it he had poured the company’s supply of coffee. Corporals and other representatives of the grimy and hot-throated men who lined the breastwork had come for each squad’s portion. The lieutenant was frowning and serious at this task of division. His lips pursed as he […]

Patsy Tulligan was not as wise as seven owls, but his courage could throw a shadow as long as the steeple of a cathedral. There were men on Cherry Street who had whipped him five times, but they all knew that Patsy would be as ready for the sixth time as if nothing had happened. […]

A Desertion

Story type: Literature

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The yellow gaslight that came with an effect of difficulty through the dust-stained windows on either side of the door gave strange hues to the faces and forms of the three women who stood gabbling in the hallway of the tenement. They made rapid gestures, and in the background their enormous shadows mingled in terrific […]

A Dark-Brown Dog

Story type: Literature

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A child was standing on a street-corner. He leaned with one shoulder against a high board fence and swayed the other to and fro, the while kicking carelessly at the gravel. Sunshine beat upon the cobbles, and a lazy summer wind raised yellow dust which trailed in clouds down the avenue. Clattering trucks moved with […]

A Tent In Agony

Story type: Literature

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A SULLIVAN COUNTY TALE Four men once came to a wet place in the roadless forest to fish. They pitched their tent fair upon the brow of a pine-clothed ridge of riven rocks whence a bowlder could be made to crash through the brush and whirl past the trees to the lake below. On fragrant […]

Four Men in a Cave

Story type: Literature

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LIKEWISE FOUR QUEENS, AND A SULLIVAN COUNTY HERMIT The moon rested for a moment on the top of a tall pine on a hill. The little man was standing in front of the campfire making orations to his companions. “We can tell a great tale when we get back to the city if we investigate […]

The Snake

Story type: Literature

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Where the path wended across the ridge, the bushes of huckleberry and sweet fern swarmed at it in two curling waves until it was a mere winding line traced through a tangle. There was no interference by clouds, and as the rays of the sun fell full upon the ridge, they called into voice innumerable […]

London Impressions

Story type: Literature

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CHAPTER I London at first consisted of a porter with the most charming manners in the world, and a cabman with a supreme intelligence, both observing my profound ignorance without contempt or humor of any kind observable in their manners. It was in a great resounding vault of a place where there were many people […]

His New Mittens

Story type: Literature

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I Little Horace was walking home from school, brilliantly decorated by a pair of new red mittens. A number of boys were snowballing gleefully in a field. They hailed him. “Come on, Horace! We’re having a battle.” Horace was sad. “No,” he said, “I can’t. I’ve got to go home.” At noon his mother had […]