Verse > Edgar Lee Masters > Spoon River Anthology

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

43. Dorcas Gustine

I WAS not beloved of the villagers, 
But all because I spoke my mind, 
And met those who transgressed against me 
With plain remonstrance, hiding nor nurturing 
Nor secret griefs nor grudges.         5
That act of the Spartan boy is greatly praised, 
Who hid the wolf under his cloak, 
Letting it devour him, uncomplainingly. 
It is braver, I think, to snatch the wolf forth 
And fight him openly, even in the street,  10
Amid dust and howls of pain. 
The tongue may be an unruly member— 
But silence poisons the soul. 
Berate me who will—I am content. 



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