Verse > Edgar Lee Masters > Spoon River Anthology

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

70. Dora Williams

WHEN Reuben Pantier ran away and threw me 
I went to Springfield. There I met a lush, 
Whose father just deceased left him a fortune. 
He married me when drunk. My life was wretched. 
A year passed and one day they found him dead.         5
That made me rich. I moved on to Chicago. 
After a time met Tyler Rountree, villain. 
I moved on to New York. A gray-haired magnate 
Went mad about me—so another fortune. 
He died one night right in my arms, you know.  10
(I saw his purple face for years thereafter.) 
There was almost a scandal. I moved on, 
This time to Paris. I was now a woman, 
Insidious, subtle, versed in the world and rich. 
My sweet apartment near the Champs Élysées  15
Became a center for all sorts of people, 
Musicians, poets, dandies, artists, nobles, 
Where we spoke French and German, Italian, English. 
I wed Count Navigato, native of Genoa. 
We went to Rome. He poisoned me, I think.  20
Now in the Campo Santo overlooking 
The sea where young Columbus dreamed new worlds, 
See what they chiseled: ”Contessa Navigato 
Implora eterna quiete.” 



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