Verse > Edgar Lee Masters > Spoon River Anthology

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

61. Nellie Clark

I WAS only eight years old; 
And before I grew up and knew what it meant 
I had no words for it, except 
That I was frightened and told my Mother; 
And that my Father got a pistol         5
And would have killed Charlie, who was a big boy, 
Fifteen years old, except for his Mother. 
Nevertheless the story clung to me. 
But the man who married me, a widower of thirty-five, 
Was a newcomer and never heard it  10
Till two years after we were married. 
Then he considered himself cheated, 
And the village agreed that I was not really a virgin. 
Well, he deserted me, and I died 
The following winter.  15



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