Verse > Edgar Lee Masters > Spoon River Anthology

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

55. Lucius Atherton

WHEN my moustache curled, 
And my hair was black, 
And I wore tight trousers 
And a diamond stud, 
I was an excellent knave of hearts and took many a trick.         5
But when the gray hairs began to appear— 
Lo! a new generation of girls 
Laughed at me, not fearing me, 
And I had no more exciting adventures 
Wherein I was all but shot for a heartless devil,  10
But only drabby affairs, warmed-over affairs 
Of other days and other men. 
And time went on until I lived at Mayer’s restaurant, 
Partaking of short-orders, a gray, untidy, 
Toothless, discarded, rural Don Juan....  15
There is a mighty shade here who sings 
Of one named Beatrice; 
And I see now that the force that made him great 
Drove me to the dregs of life. 



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