Verse > Edgar Lee Masters > Spoon River Anthology

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

118. John Hancock Otis

AS to democracy, fellow citizens, 
Are you not prepared to admit 
That I, who inherited riches and was to the manner born, 
Was second to none in Spoon River 
In my devotion to the cause of Liberty?         5
While my contemporary, Anthony Findlay, 
Born in a shanty and beginning life 
As a water carrier to the section hands, 
Then becoming a section hand when he was grown, 
Afterwards foreman of the gang, until he rose  10
To the superintendency of the railroad, 
Living in Chicago, 
Was a veritable slave driver, 
Grinding the faces of labor, 
And a bitter enemy of democracy.  15
And I say to you, Spoon River, 
And to you, O republic, 
Beware of the man who rises to power 
From one suspender. 



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