Verse > Edgar Lee Masters > Spoon River Anthology

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

145. Jacob Godbey

HOW did you feel, you libertarians, 
Who spent your talents rallying noble reasons 
Around the saloon, as if Liberty 
Was not to be found anywhere except at the bar 
Or at a table, guzzling?         5
How did you feel, Ben Pantier, and the rest of you, 
Who almost stoned me for a tyrant, 
Garbed as a moralist, 
And as a wry-faced ascetic frowning upon Yorkshire pudding, 
Roast beef and ale and good will and rosy cheer—  10
Things you never saw in a grog-shop in your life? 
How did you feel after I was dead and gone, 
And your goddess, Liberty, unmasked as a strumpet, 
Selling out the streets of Spoon River 
To the insolent giants  15
Who manned the saloons from afar? 
Did it occur to you that personal liberty 
Is liberty of the mind, 
Rather than of the belly? 



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