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

158. Elliott Hawkins

I LOOKED like Abraham Lincoln.

I was one of you, Spoon River, in all fellowship,

But standing for the rights of property and for order.

A regular church attendant,

Sometimes appearing in your town meetings to warn you

Against the evils of discontent and envy,

And to denounce those who tried to destroy the Union,

And to point to the peril of the Knights of Labor.

My success and my example are inevitable influences

In your young men and in generations to come,

In spite of attacks of newspapers like the Clarion;

A regular visitor at Springfield,

When the Legislature was in session,

To prevent raids upon the railroads,

And the men building up the state.

Trusted by them and by you, Spoon River, equally

In spite of the whispers that I was a lobbyist.

Moving quietly through the world, rich and courted.

Dying at last, of course, but lying here

Under a stone with an open book carved upon it

And the words ”Of such is the Kingdom of Heaven.”

And now, you world-savers, who reaped nothing in life

And in death have neither stones nor epitaphs,

How do you like your silence from mouths stopped

With the dust of my triumphant career?