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

102. Daniel M’Cumber

WHEN I went to the city, Mary McNeely,

I meant to return for you, yes I did.

But Laura, my landlady’s daughter,

Stole into my life somehow, and won me away.

Then after some years whom should I meet

But Georgine Miner from Niles—a sprout

Of the free love, Fourierist gardens that flourished

Before the war all over Ohio.

Her dilettante lover had tired of her,

And she turned to me for strength and solace.

She was some kind of a crying thing

One takes in one’s arms, and all at once

It slimes your face with its running nose,

And voids its essence all over you;

Then bites your hand and springs away.

And there you stand bleeding and smelling to heaven!

Why, Mary McNeely, I was not worthy

To kiss the hem of your robe!