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

13. Kinsey Keene

YOUR attention, Thomas Rhodes, president of the bank;

Coolbaugh Whedon, editor of the Argus;

Rev. Peet, pastor of the leading church;

A. D. Blood, several times Mayor of Spoon River;

And finally all of you, members of the Social Purity Club—

Your attention to Cambronne’s dying words,

Standing with the heroic remnant

Of Napoleon’s guard on Mount Saint Jean

At the battle field of Waterloo,

When Maitland, the Englishman, called to them:

“Surrender, brave Frenchmen!”—

There at close of day with the battle hopelessly lost,

And hordes of men no longer the army

Of the great Napoleon

Streamed from the field like ragged strips

Of thunder clouds in the storm.

Well, what Cambronne said to Maitland

Ere the English fire made smooth the brow of the hill

Against the sinking light of day

Say I to you, and all of you,

And to you, O world.

And I charge you to carve it

Upon my stone.