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

107. Jim Brown

WHILE I was handling Dom Pedro

I got at the thing that divides the race between men who are

For singing “Turkey in the straw” or “There is a fountain filled with blood”—

(Like Rile Potter used to sing it over at Concord);

For cards, or for Rev. Peet’s lecture on the holy land;

For skipping the light fantastic, or passing the plate;

For Pinafore, or a Sunday school cantata;

For men, or for money;

For the people or against them.

This was it:

Rev. Peet and the Social Purity Club,

Headed by Ben Pantier’s wife,

Went to the Village trustees,

And asked them to make me take Dom Pedro

From the barn of Wash McNeely, there at the edge of town,

To a barn outside of the corporation,

On the ground that it corrupted public morals.

Well, Ben Pantier and Fiddler Jones saved the day—

They thought it a slam on colts.