Verse > Edgar Lee Masters > Spoon River Anthology

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

173. Henry Tripp

THE BANK broke and I lost my savings. 
I was sick of the tiresome game in Spoon River 
And I made up my mind to run away 
And leave my place in life and my family; 
But just as the midnight train pulled in,         5
Quick off the steps jumped Cully Green 
And Martin Vise, and began to fight 
To settle their ancient rivalry, 
Striking each other with fists that sounded 
Like the blows of knotted clubs.  10
Now it seemed to me that Cully was winning, 
When his bloody face broke into a grin 
Of sickly cowardice, leaning on Martin 
And whining out “We’re good friends, Mart, 
You know that I’m your friend.”  15
But a terrible punch from Martin knocked him 
Around and around and into a heap. 
And then they arrested me as a witness, 
And I lost my train and staid in Spoon River 
To wage my battle of life to the end.  20
Oh, Cully Green, you were my savior— 
You, so ashamed and drooped for years, 
Loitering listless about the streets, 
And trying rags ’round your festering soul, 
Who failed to fight it out.  25



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