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

121. The Unknown

YE aspiring ones, listen to the story of the unknown

Who lies here with no stone to mark the place.

As a boy reckless and wanton,

Wandering with gun in hand through the forest

Near the mansion of Aaron Hatfield,

I shot a hawk perched on the top

Of a dead tree.

He fell with guttural cry

At my feet, his wing broken.

Then I put him in a cage

Where he lived many days cawing angrily at me

When I offered him food.

Daily I search the realms of Hades

For the soul of the hawk,

That I may offer him the friendship

Of one whom life wounded and caged.