There was one I met upon the road
Who looked at me with kind eyes.
Her said, “Show me of your wares.”
And this I did,
Holding forth one.
He said, “It is a sin.”
Then held I forth another;
He said, “It is a sin.”
Then held I forth another;
He said, “It is a sin.”
And so to the end;
Always he said, “It is a sin.”
And, finally, I cried out,
“But I have none other.”
Then did he look at me
With kinder eyes.
“Poor soul!” he said.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Stephen Crane's poem There was one I met upon the road

1 Comment

  1. WillAshland says:

    The long and short, as I percieve it, is that a person may not be all-responsible for their behavior, because the circumstances surrounding their behavior may have been out of their control. The speaker may be presented one way (sinful, or having only sin) toward the man, but the poem says that once the man has seen that all the speaker’s wares are sinfuil, the man THEN viewed the speaker with kinder eyes, and said, “poor soul!” as if he had a newfelt pity or compassion for the speaker. He may not have had the same feeling toward the speaker if it were his fault that all his wares were of sin.

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