Tag: top poems by Edgar Lee Masters
Albert Schirding by Edgar Lee Masters

Albert Schirding by Edgar Lee Masters

Jonas Keene thought his lot a hard oneBecause his children were all failures.But I know of a fate more trying than that:It is to be a failure while your children are successes.For ...

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Alfonso Churchill by Edgar Lee Masters

Alfonso Churchill by Edgar Lee Masters

They laughed at me as "Prof. Moon,"As a boy in Spoon River, born with the thirstOf knowing about the stars.They jeered when I spoke of the lunar mountains,And the thrilling heat ...

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Fiddler Jones by Edgar Lee Masters

Fiddler Jones by Edgar Lee Masters

The earth keeps some vibration going There in your heart, and that is you. And if the people find you can fiddle, Why, fiddle you must, for all your life. What do you see, a ...

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Amanda Barker by Edgar Lee Masters

Amanda Barker by Edgar Lee Masters

Henry got me with child, Knowing that I could not bring forth life Without losing my own. In my youth therefore I entered the portals of dust. Traveler, it is believed in the ...

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Alexander Throckmorton by Edgar Lee Masters

Alexander Throckmorton by Edgar Lee Masters

In youth my wings were strong and tireless,But I did not know the mountains.In age I knew the mountainsBut my weary wings could not follow my vision --Genius is wisdom and youth. ...

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Alfred Moir by Edgar Lee Masters

Alfred Moir by Edgar Lee Masters

Why was I not devoured by self-contempt,And rotted down by indifferenceAnd impotent revolt like Indignation Jones?Why, with all of my errant stepsDid I miss the fate of Willard ...

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Richard Bone by Edgar Lee Masters

Richard Bone by Edgar Lee Masters

When I first came to Spoon River I did not know whether what they told me Was true or false. They would bring me an epitaph And stand around the shop while I worked And say "He ...

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A.D. Blood by Edgar Lee Masters

A.D. Blood by Edgar Lee Masters

If you in the village think that my work was a good one,Who closed the saloons and stopped all playing at cards,And haled old Daisy Fraser before Justice Arnett,In many a crusade ...

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Amos Sibley by Edgar Lee Masters

Amos Sibley by Edgar Lee Masters

Not character, not fortitude, not patienceWere mine, the which the village thought I hadIn bearing with my wife, while preaching on,Doing the work God chose for me.I loathed her ...

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Arlo Will by Edgar Lee Masters

Arlo Will by Edgar Lee Masters

Did you ever see an alligatorCome up to the air from the mud,Staring blindly under the full glare of noon?Have you seen the stabled horses at nightTremble and start back at the ...

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Archibald Higbie by Edgar Lee Masters

Archibald Higbie by Edgar Lee Masters

I loathed you, Spoon River. I tried to rise above you,I was ashamed of you. I despised youAs the place of my nativity.And there in Rome, among the artists,Speaking Italian, ...

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Andy The Night-Watch by Edgar Lee Masters

Andy The Night-Watch by Edgar Lee Masters

In my Spanish cloak,And old slouch hat,And overshoes of felt,And Tyke, my faithful dog,And my knotted hickory cane,I slipped about with a bull's-eye lanternFrom door to door on ...

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Abel Melveny by Edgar Lee Masters

Abel Melveny by Edgar Lee Masters

I bought every kind of machine that's known --Grinders, shellers, planters, mowers,Mills and rakes and ploughs and threshers --And all of them stood in the rain and sun,Getting ...

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Aner Clute by Edgar Lee Masters

Aner Clute by Edgar Lee Masters

Over and over they used to ask me,While buying the wine or the beer,In Peoria first, and later in Chicago,Denver, Frisco, New York, wherever I lived,How I happened to lead the ...

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The Hill by Edgar Lee Masters

The Hill by Edgar Lee Masters

Where are Elmer, Herman, Bert, Tom, and Charley, The weak of will, the strong of arm, the clown, the boozer, the fighter? All, all, are sleeping on the hill. One passed in a ...

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Lucinda Matlock by Edgar Lee Masters

Lucinda Matlock by Edgar Lee Masters

I went to the dances at Chandlerville, And played snap-out at Winchester. One time we changed partners, Driving home in the midnight of middle June, And then I found Davis. We ...

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Anne Rutledge by Edgar Lee Masters

Anne Rutledge by Edgar Lee Masters

Out of me unworthy and unknown The vibrations of deathless music; 'With malice toward none, with charity for all.' Out of me the forgiveness of millions toward millions, And the ...

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George Gray by Edgar Lee Masters

George Gray by Edgar Lee Masters

I have studied many timesThe marble which was chiseled for me --A boat with a furled sail at rest in a harbor.In truth it pictures not my destinationBut my life.For love was ...

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Amelia Garrick by Edgar Lee Masters

Amelia Garrick by Edgar Lee Masters

Yes, here I lie close to a stunted rose bushIn a forgotten place near the fenceWhere the thickets from Siever's woodsHave crept over, growing sparsely.And you, you are a leader in ...

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Dippold The Optician by Edgar Lee Masters

Dippold The Optician by Edgar Lee Masters

What do you see now? Globes of red, yellow, purple. Just a moment! And now? My father and mother and sisters. Yes! And now? Knights at arms, beautiful women, kind faces. Try this. ...

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Aaron Hatfield by Edgar Lee Masters

Aaron Hatfield by Edgar Lee Masters

Better than granite, Spoon River,Is the memory-picture you keep of meStanding before the pioneer men and womenThere at Concord Church on Communion day.Speaking in broken voice of ...

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John Horace Burleson by Edgar Lee Masters

John Horace Burleson by Edgar Lee Masters

I won the prize essay at school Here in the village, And published a novel before I was twenty-five. I went to the city for themes and to enrich my art; There married the banker’s ...

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Ami Green by Edgar Lee Masters

Ami Green by Edgar Lee Masters

Not "a youth with hoary head and haggard eye,"But an old man with a smooth skinAnd black hair!I had the face of a boy as long as I lived,And for years a soul that was stiff and ...

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Mrs. Purkapile by Edgar Lee Masters

Mrs. Purkapile by Edgar Lee Masters

He ran away and was gone for a year.When he came home he told me the silly storyOf being kidnapped by pirates on Lake MichiganAnd kept in chains so he could not write me.I ...

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Ace Shaw by Edgar Lee Masters

Ace Shaw by Edgar Lee Masters

I never saw any differenceBetween playing cards for moneyAnd selling real estate,Practicing law, banking, or anything else.For everything is chance.NeverthelessSeest thou a man ...

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America by Edgar Lee Masters

America by Edgar Lee Masters

Glorious daughter of time! Thou of the mild blue eye -- Thou of the virginal forehead --pallid, unfurrowed of tears-- Thou of the strong white hands with fingers dipped in the dye ...

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Barney Hainsfeather by Edgar Lee Masters

Barney Hainsfeather by Edgar Lee Masters

If the excursion train to PeoriaHad just been wrecked, I might have escaped with my life --Certainly I should have escaped this place.But as it was burned as well, they mistook ...

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Dora Williams by Edgar Lee Masters

Dora Williams by Edgar Lee Masters

When Reuben Pantier ran away and threw meI went to Springfield. There I met a lush,Whose father just deceased left him a fortune.He married me when drunk. My life was wretched.A ...

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Sarah Brown by Edgar Lee Masters

Sarah Brown by Edgar Lee Masters

Maurice, weep not, I am not here under this pine tree.The balmy air of spring whispers through the sweet grass,The stars sparkle, the whippoorwill calls,But thou grievest, while ...

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Knowlt Hoheimer by Edgar Lee Masters

Knowlt Hoheimer by Edgar Lee Masters

I was the first fruits of the battle of Missionary Ridge. When I felt the bullet enter my heart I wished I had staid at home and gone to jail For stealing the hogs of Curl ...

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Yee Bow by Edgar Lee Masters

Yee Bow by Edgar Lee Masters

They got me into the Sunday-schoolIn Spoon RiverAnd tried to get me to drop Confucius for Jesus.I could have been no worse offIf I had tried to get them to drop Jesus for ...

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Adam Weirauch by Edgar Lee Masters

Adam Weirauch by Edgar Lee Masters

I was crushed between Altgeld and Armour.I lost many friends, much time and moneyFighting for Altgeld whom Editor WhedonDenounced as the candidate of gamblers and anarchists.Then ...

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Petit, The Poet by Edgar Lee Masters

Petit, The Poet by Edgar Lee Masters

Seeds in a dry pod, tick, tick, tick, Tick, tick, tick, like mites in a quarrel-- Faint iambics that the full breeze wakens-- But the pine tree makes a symphony thereof. Triolets, ...

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William And Emily by Edgar Lee Masters

William And Emily by Edgar Lee Masters

There is something about DeathLike love itself!If with some one with whom you have known passion,And the glow of youthful love,You also, after years of lifeTogether, feel the ...

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Ballade Of Dead Republics by Edgar Lee Masters

Ballade Of Dead Republics by Edgar Lee Masters

Tell me ye King-craft of to-day Where is Athens, who made men free; Then sank into stupor by the way, Subdued by the Spartan tyranny? And Rome that staggered to death, perdie, ...

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Trainor The Druggist by Edgar Lee Masters

Trainor The Druggist by Edgar Lee Masters

Only the chemist can tell, and not always the chemist,What will result from compoundingFluids or solids.And who can tellHow men and women will interactOn each other, or what ...

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Margaret Fuller Slack by Edgar Lee Masters

Margaret Fuller Slack by Edgar Lee Masters

I would have been as great as George EliotBut for an untoward fate.For look at the photograph of me made by Penniwit,Chin resting on hand, and deep-set eyes --Gray, too, and ...

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The Unknown by Edgar Lee Masters

The Unknown by Edgar Lee Masters

Ye aspiring ones, listen to the story of the unknownWho lies here with no stone to mark the place.As a boy reckless and wanton,Wandering with gun in hand through the forestNear ...

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Anthony Findlay by Edgar Lee Masters

Anthony Findlay by Edgar Lee Masters

Both for the country and for the man,And for a country as well as a man,'Tis better to be feared than loved.And if this country would rather partWith the friendship of every ...

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Schroeder The Fisherman by Edgar Lee Masters

Schroeder The Fisherman by Edgar Lee Masters

I sat on the bank above BernadotteAnd dropped crumbs in the water,Just to see the minnows bump each other,Until the strongest got the prize.Or I went to my little pasture,Where ...

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Jonas Keene by Edgar Lee Masters

Jonas Keene by Edgar Lee Masters

Why did Albert Schirding kill himselfTrying to be County Superintendent of Schools,Blest as he was with the means of lifeAnd wonderful children, bringing him honorEre he was ...

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Hamilton Greene by Edgar Lee Masters

Hamilton Greene by Edgar Lee Masters

I was the only child of Frances Harris of VirginiaAnd Thomas Greene of Kentucky,Of valiant and honorable blood both.To them I owe all that I became,Judge, member of Congress, ...

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Zilpha Marsh by Edgar Lee Masters

Zilpha Marsh by Edgar Lee Masters

At four o'clock in late OctoberI sat alone in the country school-houseBack from the road 'mid stricken fields,And an eddy of wind blew leaves on the pane,And crooned in the flue ...

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America In 1804 by Edgar Lee Masters

America In 1804 by Edgar Lee Masters

(America Conquers Europe.) Foul shapes that hate the day, again grown bold, Late driven hence, infested fane and court. The laurels of our victory were amort. Vile King-craft with ...

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The Village Atheist by Edgar Lee Masters

The Village Atheist by Edgar Lee Masters

Ye young debaters over the doctrineOf the soul's immortalityI who lie here was the village atheist,Talkative, contentious, versed in the argumentsOf the infidels.But through a ...

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Mrs. George Reece by Edgar Lee Masters

Mrs. George Reece by Edgar Lee Masters

To this generation I would say:Memorize some bit of verse of truth or beauty.It may serve a turn in your life.My husband had nothing to doWith the fall of the bank -- he was only ...

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Blind Jack by Edgar Lee Masters

Blind Jack by Edgar Lee Masters

I had fiddled all day at the county fair.But driving home "Butch" Weldy and Jack McGuire,Who were roaring full, made me fiddle and fiddleTo the song of Susie Skinner, while ...

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William H. Herndon by Edgar Lee Masters

William H. Herndon by Edgar Lee Masters

There by the window in the old housePerched on the bluff, overlooking miles of valley,My days of labor closed, sitting out life's decline,Day by day did I look in my memory,As one ...

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Jonathan Swift Somers by Edgar Lee Masters

Jonathan Swift Somers by Edgar Lee Masters

After you have enriched your soulTo the highest point,With books, thought, suffering, the understanding of many personalities,The power to interpret glances, silences,The pauses ...

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Ballad Of The Traitor’s Soul by Edgar Lee Masters

Ballad Of The Traitor’s Soul by Edgar Lee Masters

'Twas the shrunken soul of the traitor That whined in a coign of the dark; And the fiends were aroused from slumber, When Cerberus began to bark. 'Methought that I spoke' said ...

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