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

142. Lillian Stewart

I WAS the daughter of Lambert Hutchins,

Born in a cottage near the grist-mill,

Reared in the mansion there on the hill,

With its spires, bay-windows, and roof of slate.

How proud my mother was of the mansion!

How proud of father’s rise in the world!

And how my father loved and watched us,

And guarded our happiness.

But I believe the house was a curse,

For father’s fortune was little beside it;

And when my husband found he had married

A girl who was really poor,

He taunted me with the spires,

And called the house a fraud on the world,

A treacherous lure to young men, raising hopes

Of a dowry not to be had;

And a man while selling his vote

Should get enough from the people’s betrayal

To wall the whole of his family in.

He vexed my life till I went back home

And lived like an old maid till I died,

Keeping house for father.