State’s Attorney Fallas By Edgar Lee Masters

State’s Attorney Fallas I, the scourge-wielder, balance-wrecker, Smiter with whips and swords; I, hater of the breakers of the law; I, legalist, inexorable and bitter,…

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Many Soldiers By Edgar Lee Masters

Many Soldiers The idea danced before us as a flag; The sound of martial music; The thrill of carrying a gun; Advancement in the world…

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Editor Whedon By Edgar Lee Masters

Editor Whedon To be able to see every side of every question; To be on every side, to be everything, to be nothing long; To…

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Alfonso Churchill By Edgar Lee Masters

Alfonso Churchill They laughed at me as “Prof. Moon,” As a boy in Spoon River, born with the thirst Of knowing about the stars. They…

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William Jones By Edgar Lee Masters

William Jones Once in a while a curious weed unknown to me, Needing a name from my books; Once in a while a letter from…

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Rutherford Mcdowell By Edgar Lee Masters

Rutherford Mcdowell They brought me ambrotypes Of the old pioneers to enlarge. And sometimes one sat for me— Some one who was in being When…

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Jonathan Swift Somers By Edgar Lee Masters

Jonathan Swift Somers After you have enriched your soul To the highest point, With books, thought, suffering, the understanding of many personalities, The power to…

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Blind Jack By Edgar Lee Masters

Blind Jack I had fiddled all day at the county fair. But driving home “Butch” Weldy and Jack McGuire, Who were roaring full, made me…

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Tom Merritt By Edgar Lee Masters

Tom Merritt At first I suspected something — She acted so calm and absent-minded. And one day I heard the back door shut, As I…

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Petit, The Poet By Edgar Lee Masters

Petit, The Poet Seeds in a dry pod, tick, tick, tick, Tick, tick, tick, like mites in a quarrel– Faint iambics that the full breeze…

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George Gray By Edgar Lee Masters

George Gray I have studied many times The marble which was chiseled for me — A boat with a furled sail at rest in a…

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Aner Clute By Edgar Lee Masters

Aner Clute Over and over they used to ask me, While buying the wine or the beer, In Peoria first, and later in Chicago, Denver,…

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Silence By Edgar Lee Masters

Silence I have known the silence of the stars and of the sea, And the silence of the city when it pauses, And the silence…

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Lydia Puckett By Edgar Lee Masters

Lydia Puckett Knowlt Hoheimer ran away to the war The day before Curl Trenary Swore out a warrant through Justice Arnett For stealing hogs. But…

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Elmer Karr By Edgar Lee Masters

Elmer Karr What but the love of God could have softened And made forgiving the people of Spoon River Toward me who wronged the bed…

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Albert Schirding By Edgar Lee Masters

Albert Schirding Jonas Keene thought his lot a hard one Because his children were all failures. But I know of a fate more trying than…

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Yee Bow By Edgar Lee Masters

Yee Bow They got me into the Sunday-school In Spoon River And tried to get me to drop Confucius for Jesus. I could have been…

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Roy Butler By Edgar Lee Masters

Roy Butler If the learned Supreme Court of Illinois Got at the secret of every case As well as it does a case of rape…

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Johnnie Sayre By Edgar Lee Masters

Johnnie Sayre Father, thou canst never know The anguish that smote my heart For my disobedience, the moment I felt The remorseless wheel of the…

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Bert Kessler By Edgar Lee Masters

Bert Kessler I winged my bird, Though he flew toward the setting sun; But just as the shot rang out, he soared Up and up…

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Trainor The Druggist By Edgar Lee Masters

Trainor The Druggist Only the chemist can tell, and not always the chemist, What will result from compounding Fluids or solids. And who can tell…

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O Glorious France By Edgar Lee Masters

O Glorious France You have become a forge of snow-white fire, A crucible of molten steel, O France! Your sons are stars who cluster to…

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Flossie Cabanis By Edgar Lee Masters

Flossie Cabanis From Bindle’s opera house in the village To Broadway is a great step. But I tried to take it, my ambition fired When…

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Amos Sibley By Edgar Lee Masters By Edgar Lee Masters

Amos Sibley Not character, not fortitude, not patience Were mine, the which the village thought I had In bearing with my wife, while preaching on,…

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Silas Dement By Edgar Lee Masters

Silas Dement It was moon-light, and the earth sparkled With new-fallen frost. It was midnight and not a soul abroad. Out of the chimney of…

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Margaret Fuller Slack By Edgar Lee Masters

Margaret Fuller Slack I would have been as great as George Eliot But for an untoward fate. For look at the photograph of me made…

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E.C. Culbertson By Edgar Lee Masters

E.C. Culbertson Is it true, Spoon River, That in the hall-way of the New Court House There is a tablet of bronze Containing the embossed…

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Adam Weirauch By Edgar Lee Masters

Adam Weirauch I was crushed between Altgeld and Armour. I lost many friends, much time and money Fighting for Altgeld whom Editor Whedon Denounced as…

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Zilpha Marsh By Edgar Lee Masters

Zilpha Marsh At four o’clock in late October I sat alone in the country school-house Back from the road ‘mid stricken fields, And an eddy…

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Russian Sonia By Edgar Lee Masters

Russian Sonia I, born in Weimar Of a mother who was French And German father, a most learned professor, Orphaned at fourteen years, Became a…

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John Hancock Otis By Edgar Lee Masters

John Hancock Otis As to democracy, fellow citizens, Are you not prepared to admit That I, who inherited riches and was to the manor born,…

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Carl Hamblin By Edgar Lee Masters

Carl Hamblin The press of the Spoon River Clarion was wrecked, And I was tarred and feathered, For publishing this on the day the Anarchists…

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Thomas Ross, Jr. By Edgar Lee Masters

Thomas Ross, Jr. This I saw with my own eyes: A cliff-swallow Made her nest in a hole of the high clay-bank There near Miller’s…

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Oscar Hummel By Edgar Lee Masters

Oscar Hummel I staggered on through darkness, There was a hazy sky, a few stars Which I followed as best I could. It was nine…

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Fletcher Mcgee By Edgar Lee Masters

Fletcher Mcgee She took my strength by minutes, She took my life by hours, She drained me like a fevered moon That saps the spinning…

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Anthony Findlay By Edgar Lee Masters

Anthony Findlay Both for the country and for the man, And for a country as well as a man, ‘Tis better to be feared than…

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Serepta Mason By Edgar Lee Masters

Serepta Mason My life’s blossom might have bloomed on all sides Save for a bitter wind which stunted my petals On the side of me…

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Marie Bateson By Edgar Lee Masters

Marie Bateson You observe the carven hand With the index finger pointing heavenward. That is the direction, no doubt. But how shall one follow it?…

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Dora Williams By Edgar Lee Masters

Dora Williams When Reuben Pantier ran away and threw me I went to Springfield. There I met a lush, Whose father just deceased left him…

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Ace Shaw By Edgar Lee Masters

Ace Shaw I never saw any difference Between playing cards for money And selling real estate, Practicing law, banking, or anything else. For everything is…

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William And Emily By Edgar Lee Masters

William And Emily There is something about Death Like love itself! If with some one with whom you have known passion, And the glow of…

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Rosie Roberts By Edgar Lee Masters

Rosie Roberts I was sick, but more than that, I was mad At the crooked police, and the crooked game of life. So I wrote…

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John Cabanis By Edgar Lee Masters

John Cabanis Neither spite, fellow citizens, Nor forgetfulness of the shiftlessness, And the lawlessness and waste Under democracy’s rule in Spoon River Made me desert…

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Barney Hainsfeather By Edgar Lee Masters

Barney Hainsfeather If the excursion train to Peoria Had just been wrecked, I might have escaped with my life — Certainly I should have escaped…

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Theodore The Poet By Edgar Lee Masters

Theodore The Poet As a boy, Theodore, you sat for long hours On the shore of the turbid Spoon With deep-set eye staring at the…

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On A Bust By Edgar Lee Masters

On A Bust A giant as we hoped, in truth, a dwarf; A barrel of slop that shines on Lethe’s wharf’, Which at first seemed…

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Fiddler Jones By Edgar Lee Masters

Fiddler Jones The earth keeps some vibration going There in your heart, and that is you. And if the people find you can fiddle, Why,…

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Andy The Night-Watch By Edgar Lee Masters

Andy The Night-Watch In my Spanish cloak, And old slouch hat, And overshoes of felt, And Tyke, my faithful dog, And my knotted hickory cane,…

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Seth Compton By Edgar Lee Masters

Seth Compton When I died, the circulating library Which I built up for Spoon River, And managed for the good of inquiring minds, Was sold…

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Lucinda Matlock By Edgar Lee Masters

Lucinda Matlock I went to the dances at Chandlerville, And played snap-out at Winchester. One time we changed partners, Driving home in the midnight of…

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Doc Hill By Edgar Lee Masters

Doc Hill I went up and down the streets Here and there by day and night, Through all hours of the night caring for the…

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Alfred Moir By Edgar Lee Masters

Alfred Moir Why was I not devoured by self-contempt, And rotted down by indifference And impotent revolt like Indignation Jones? Why, with all of my…

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William H. Herndon By Edgar Lee Masters

William H. Herndon There by the window in the old house Perched on the bluff, overlooking miles of valley, My days of labor closed, sitting…

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Roger Heston By Edgar Lee Masters

Roger Heston Oh many times did Ernest Hyde and I Argue about the freedom of the will. My favorite metaphor was Prickett’s cow Roped out…

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John Ballard By Edgar Lee Masters

John Ballard In the lust of my strength I cursed God, but he paid no attention to me: I might as well have cursed the…

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Banner Of Men Who Were Free By Edgar Lee Masters

Banner Of Men Who Were Free Flag of the great republic, banner of men who were free! Carried aloft for freedom in many a bloody…

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The Village Atheist By Edgar Lee Masters

The Village Atheist Ye young debaters over the doctrine Of the soul’s immortality I who lie here was the village atheist, Talkative, contentious, versed in…

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Nellie Clark By Edgar Lee Masters

Nellie Clark I was only eight years old; And before I grew up and knew what it meant I had no words for it, except…

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Faith Matheny By Edgar Lee Masters

Faith Matheny At first you will know not what they mean, And you may never know, And we may never tell you: — These sudden…

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Ami Green By Edgar Lee Masters

Ami Green Not “a youth with hoary head and haggard eye,” But an old man with a smooth skin And black hair! I had the…

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