Verse > Edgar Lee Masters > Spoon River Anthology

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

241. Aaron Hatfield

BETTER than granite, Spoon River, 
Is the memory-picture you keep of me 
Standing before the pioneer men and women 
There at Concord Church on Communion day. 
Speaking in broken voice of the peasant youth         5
Of Galilee who went to the city 
And was killed by bankers and lawyers; 
My voice mingling with the June wind 
That blew over wheat fields from Atterbury; 
While the white stones in the burying ground  10
Around the Church shimmered in the summer sun. 
And there, though my own memories 
Were too great to bear, were you, O pioneers, 
With bowed heads breathing forth your sorrow 
For the sons killed in battle and the daughters  15
And little children who vanished in life’s morning, 
Or at the intolerable hour of noon. 
But in those moments of tragic silence, 
When the wine and bread were passed, 
Came the reconciliation for us—  20
Us the ploughmen and the hewers of wood, 
Us the peasants, brothers of the peasant of Galilee— 
To us came the Comforter 
And the consolation of tongues of flame! 



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