Verse > Edgar Lee Masters > Spoon River Anthology

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

45. Jacob Goodpasture

WHEN Fort Sumter fell and the war came 
I cried out in bitterness of soul: 
“O glorious republic now no more!” 
When they buried my soldier son 
To the call of trumpets and the sound of drums         5
My heart broke beneath the weight 
Of eighty years, and I cried: 
“Oh, son who died in a cause unjust! 
In the strife of Freedom slain!” 
And I crept here under the grass.  10
And now from the battlements of time, behold: 
Thrice thirty million souls being bound together 
In the love of larger truth, 
Rapt in the expectation of the birth 
Of a new Beauty,  15
Sprung from Brotherhood and Wisdom. 
I with eyes of spirit see the Transfiguration 
Before you see it. 
But ye infinite brood of golden eagles nesting ever higher, 
Wheeling ever higher, the sun-light wooing  20
Of lofty places of Thought, 
Forgive the blindness of the departed owl. 



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