Verse > Edgar Lee Masters > Spoon River Anthology

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

130. Professor Newcomer

EVERYONE laughed at Col. Prichard 
For buying an engine so powerful 
That it wrecked itself, and wrecked the grinder 
He ran it with. 
But here is a joke of cosmic size:         5
The urge of nature that made a man 
Evolve from his brain a spiritual life— 
Oh miracle of the world!— 
The very same brain with which the ape and wolf 
Get food and shelter and procreate themselves.  10
Nature has made man do this, 
In a world where she gives him nothing to do 
After all—(though the strength of his soul goes round 
In a futile waste of power, 
To gear itself to the mills of the gods)—  15
But get food and shelter and procreate himself! 



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