Verse > Edgar Lee Masters > Spoon River Anthology

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

236. Captain Orlando Killion

OH, you young radicals and dreamers, 
You dauntless fledglings 
Who pass by my headstone, 
Mock not its record of my captaincy in the army 
And my faith in God!         5
They are not denials of each other. 
Go by reverently, and read with sober care 
How a great people, riding with defiant shouts 
The centaur of Revolution, 
Spurred and whipped to frenzy,  10
Shook with terror, seeing the mist of the sea 
Over the precipice they were nearing, 
And fell from his back in precipitate awe 
To celebrate the Feast of the Supreme Being. 
Moved by the same sense of vast reality  15
Of life and death, and burdened as they were 
With the fate of a race, 
How was I, a little blasphemer, 
Caught in the drift of a nation’s unloosened flood, 
To remain a blasphemer,  20
And a captain in the army? 



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