When a people reach the top of a hill,

When a people reach the top of a hill,
Then does God lean toward them,
Shortens tongues and lengthens arms.
A vision of their dead comes to the weak.
The moon shall not be too old
Before the new battalions rise,
Blue battalions.
The moon shall not be too old
When the children of change shall fall
Before the new battalions,
The blue battalions.

Mistakes and virtues will be trampled deep.
A church and a thief shall fall together.
A sword will come at the bidding of the eyeless,
The God-led, turning only to beckon,
Swinging a creed like a censer
At the head of the new battalions,
Blue battalions.
March the tools of nature’s impulse,
Men born of wrong, men born of right,
Men of the new battalions,
The blue battalions.

The clang of swords is Thy wisdom,
The wounded make gestures like Thy Son’s;
The feet of mad horses is one part —
Ay, another is the hand of a mother on the brow of a youth.
Then, swift as they charge through a shadow,
The men of the new battalions,
Blue battalions —
God lead them high, God lead them far,
God lead them far, God lead them high,
These new battalions,
The blue battalions.

THE END

Analysis, meaning and summary of Stephen Crane's poem When a people reach the top of a hill,

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