Home  »  Spoon River Anthology  »  129. W. Lloyd Garrison Standard

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

129. W. Lloyd Garrison Standard

VEGETARIAN, non-resistant, free-thinker, in ethics a Christian;

Orator apt at the rhine-stone rhythm of Ingersoll;

Carnivorous, avenger, believer and pagan;

Continent, promiscuous, changeable, treacherous, vain,

Proud, with the pride that makes struggle a thing for laughter;

With heart cored out by the worm of theatric despair;

Wearing the coat of indifference to hide the shame of defeat;

I, child of the abolitionist idealism—

A sort of Brand in a birth of half-and-half.

What other thing could happen when I defended

The patriot scamps who burned the court house,

That Spoon River might have a new one,

Than plead them guilty? When Kinsey Keene drove through

The card-board mask of my life with a spear of light,

What could I do but slink away, like the beast of myself

Which I raised from a whelp, to a corner and growl.

The pyramid of my life was nought but a dune,

Barren and formless, spoiled at last by the storm.