Home  »  Spoon River Anthology  »  17. Emily Sparks

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

17. Emily Sparks

WHERE is my boy, my boy—

In what far part of the world?

The boy I loved best of all in the school?—

I, the teacher, the old maid, the virgin heart,

Who made them all my children.

Did I know my boy aright,

Thinking of him as spirit aflame,

Active, ever aspiring?

Oh, boy, boy, for whom I prayed and prayed

In many a watchful hour at night,

Do you remember the letter I wrote you

Of the beautiful love of Christ?

And whether you ever took it or not,

My boy, wherever you are,

Work for your soul’s sake,

That all the clay of you, all of the dross of you,

May yield to the fire of you,

Till the fire is nothing but light!…

Nothing but light!