God lay dead in heaven;
Angels sang the hymn of the end;
Purple winds went moaning,
Their wings drip-dripping
With blood
That fell upon the earth.
It, groaning thing,
Turned black and sank.
Then from the far caverns
Of dead sins
Came monsters, livid with desire.
They fought,
Wrangled over the world,
A morsel.
But of all sadness this was sad --
A woman's arms tried to shield
The head of a sleeping man
From the jaws of the final beast.

Stephen Crane,
1905

The Black Riders and Other Lines: LXVI || The Black Riders and Other Lines: LXVIII

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