War is Kind by Stephen Crane

War is Kind

subjects: Classic & Pre-20th Century Poetry

Description

War is Kind, was unconventional for the time in that it was written in free verse without rhyme, meter, or even titles for individual works. They are typically short in length and although several poems, such as ‘Do not weep, maiden, for war is kind’, use stanzas and refrains, most do not. Crane also differed from his peers and poets of later generations in that his work contains allegory, dialectic and narrative situations. (source: Wikipedia)

Excerpt

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 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.