War is Kind, by Stephen Crane

War is Kind

by Stephen Crane

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 flies above them,
Great is the battle-god, great, and his kingdom—
A field where a thousand corpses lie.

Do not weep, babe, for war is kind.
Because your father tumbled in the yellow trenches,
Raged at his breast, gulped and died,
Do not weep.
War is kind.

Swift blazing flag of the regiment,
Eagle with crest of red and gold,
These men were born to drill and die.
Point for them the virtue of the slaughter,
Make plain to them the excellence of killing
And a field where a thousand corpses lie.

Mother whose heart hung humble as a button
On the bright splendid shroud of your son,
Do not weep.
War is kind.

Here is a recording of Kristin Hughes reading the poem for Librivox. She reads it very well, but I wonder if this is one of those rare poems best read silently, or aloud to oneself, over and over, evoking each time a different tone of triumph, malice, or bitter tenderness.

More poetry

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~ by lolarusa on July 11, 2008.

2 Responses to “War is Kind, by Stephen Crane”

  1. i love how ironic it is… but i also love how not only is it ironic… but it is from a totally different point of view than the average persons… he is trying to confuse his reader… yet he explains so much as he only says so little… i love reading his poetry… he is my favorite poet… and has been since 8 years young… >>> BLAKE KEENEY>>> 14 YEARS YOUNG… =)

  2. i sounds so much better whe this women explains it.its awfully sad,but has a good message be hind it…..winkydink.wrote.this…stephen cranes the author i have to do reasearch on.lol..frm l.vegas(; NC

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