In the desert
I saw a creature, naked, bestial,
Who, squatting upon the ground,
Held his heart in his hands,
And ate of it.
I said, ‘Is it good, friend?’
‘It is bitter — bitter,’ he answered,
‘But I like it
Because it is bitter,
And because it is my heart.
Stephen Crane, The Complete Poems of Stephen Crane
I was a lovely tree, in thy presence… with all my branches round me; but thy death came like a blast from the desert, and laid my green head low.
James Macpherson, The Poems of Ossian