There was set before me a mighty hill

There was set before me a mighty hill,
And long days I climbed
Through regions of snow.
When I had before me the summit-view,
It seemed that my labour
Had been to see gardens
Lying at impossible distances.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Stephen Crane's poem There was set before me a mighty hill


  1. Peter C. Langella says:

    The hill set before the speaker represents life. The long days and regions of snow represent life’s cruel and cold challenges. The summit view represents the pinnacle or end of the struggle. There, the speaker finds that “reward” or heaven is merely a dream–impossible or unreal. Reality and life is adversity.The poem reminds me of the myth of Sisyphus. It’s the challenges that bring meaning.

  2. Karin says:

    I thought abot the poem completely differently from the other posters. I thought it was refering to the long struggle to gain temporary things, such as material gains, reputation and other things of that nature and that when you achieve these things, they are actually rather empty as living in the present moment, in the true garden, is really the peace we humans are looking for. Like that book from the seventies about the worms who spend their whole lives climbing to the top of the worm piles only to find out that there is nothing on top. So, two worms climb down ( getting out of the rat race, so to speak) and become beautiful buterflies. That is my take on the matter. Have a good day!

  3. Rao says:

    When one reaches the imagained destination, finds it still further off?

  4. carolyn says:

    this beautiful poem reminds us of the fact that we often struggle to find a fairer view only to discover that we had it within reach al the time!

  5. Elizabeth says:

    I think this poem shows that we are all faced with problems. He knew where he wanted to go and what was on the other side, but he had to climb the hill before he could get it. Determination.

  6. Bobby says:

    This poem expresses the struggles people face daily. These struggles although may seem tough are well worth it in the end.

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