Verse > Edgar Lee Masters > Spoon River Anthology

Edgar Lee Masters (1868–1950).  Spoon River Anthology.  1916.

105. Ida Chicken

AFTER I had attended lectures 
At our Chautauqua, and studied French 
For twenty years, committing the grammar 
Almost by heart, 
I thought I’d take a trip to Paris         5
To give my culture a final polish. 
So I went to Peoria for a passport— 
(Thomas Rhodes was on the train that morning.) 
And there the clerk of the district Court 
Made me swear to support and defend  10
The constitution—yes, even me— 
Who couldn’t defend or support it at all! 
And what do you think? That very morning 
The Federal Judge, in the very next room 
To the room where I took the oath,  15
Decided the constitution 
Exempted Rhodes from paying taxes 
For the water works of Spoon River! 



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