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

161. Enoch Dunlap

HOW many times, during the twenty years

I was your leader, friends of Spoon River,

Did you neglect the convention and caucus,

And leave the burden on my hands

Of guarding and saving the people’s cause?—

Sometimes because you were ill;

Or your grandmother was ill;

Or you drank too much and fell asleep;

Or else you said: “He is our leader,

All will be well; he fights for us;

We have nothing to do but follow.”

But oh, how you cursed me when I fell,

And cursed me, saying I had betrayed you,

In leaving the caucus room for a moment,

When the people’s enemies, there assembled,

Waited and watched for a chance to destroy

The Sacred Rights of the People.

You common rabble! I left the caucus

To go to the urinal!