Verse > Edgar Lee Masters > Spoon River Anthology

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

91. Thomas Ross, Jr.

THIS I saw with my own eyes: 
A cliff-swallow 
Made her nest in a hole of the high clay-bank 
There near Miller’s Ford. 
But no sooner were the young hatched         5
Than a snake crawled up to the nest 
To devour the brood. 
Then the mother swallow with swift flutterings 
And shrill cries 
Fought at the snake,  10
Blinding him with the beat of her wings, 
Until he, wriggling and rearing his head, 
Fell backward down the bank 
Into Spoon River and was drowned. 
Scarcely an hour passed  15
Until a shrike 
Impaled the mother swallow on a thorn. 
As for myself I overcame my lower nature 
Only to be destroyed by my brother’s ambition. 



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