The Black Riders and Other Lines

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The Black Riders and Other Lines
Book cover
Author Stephen Crane
Country United States
Language English
Genre Poetry collections
Published 1895 (Copeland and Day)
Preceded by The Red Badge of Courage (1895)
Followed by Maggie: A Girl of the Streets (1893)
Text The Black Riders and Other Lines at Wikisource

The Black Riders and Other Lines is a book of poetry written by American author Stephen Crane (1871–1900). First published in 1895 by Copeland and Day.

It was Crane's second published volume, following Maggie: A Girl of the Streets (1893) and predating The Red Badge of Courage (1895). Its first printing was a limited run of 500 copies, with a few issued in vellum, and contained fifty-six short poems written in Crane's sparse, unconventional style. The untitled "lines", as Crane referred to them, were differentiated by Roman numerals and written entirely in small capitals.[1]


  • 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."
  • Charity thou art a lie,
  • There were many who went in huddled procession
  • In heaven
  • 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
  • Many workmen
  • 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?
  • Blustering God
  • "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

See also[edit]


  1. ^ McGann, Jerome J. 1993. Black Riders: The Visible Language of Modernism. Princeton University Press. pp. 92–93