Verse > Edgar Lee Masters > Spoon River Anthology

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

129. W. Lloyd Garrison Standard

VEGETARIAN, non-resistant, free-thinker, in ethics a Christian; 
Orator apt at the rhine-stone rhythm of Ingersoll; 
Carnivorous, avenger, believer and pagan; 
Continent, promiscuous, changeable, treacherous, vain, 
Proud, with the pride that makes struggle a thing for laughter;         5
With heart cored out by the worm of theatric despair; 
Wearing the coat of indifference to hide the shame of defeat; 
I, child of the abolitionist idealism— 
A sort of Brand in a birth of half-and-half. 
What other thing could happen when I defended  10
The patriot scamps who burned the court house, 
That Spoon River might have a new one, 
Than plead them guilty? When Kinsey Keene drove through 
The card-board mask of my life with a spear of light, 
What could I do but slink away, like the beast of myself  15
Which I raised from a whelp, to a corner and growl. 
The pyramid of my life was nought but a dune, 
Barren and formless, spoiled at last by the storm. 



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