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 gives her lover
To another woman
We will fight in bloody scuffle.'”
Sadly the people added:
“There are no violets here.”
Free love is a pipe dream because women won’t have it.
however, violets are also the flower of mourning, so perhaps it’s fitting for them to sorrowfully inform men that until we give up our petty squabbles, people will continue to die. then, in a cynical view of mankind, crane implicitly has the people remove the violets so that they wouldn’t have to hear their accusations.
Crane’s signature cynical irony comes into play here with his choice of flower: in the Victorian flower-language, the violet stood for maidenly modesty and faithfulness. In a sense, then, Crane is exposing the women’s devotion to their lovers as jealousy, not true faithfulness, and thus as undeserving of the violets.