Home  »  Spoon River Anthology  »  187. Father Malloy

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

187. Father Malloy

YOU are over there, Father Malloy,

Where holy ground is, and the cross marks every grave,

Not here with us on the hill—

Us of wavering faith, and clouded vision

And drifting hope, and unforgiven sins.

You were so human, Father Malloy,

Taking a friendly glass sometimes with us,

Siding with us who would rescue Spoon River

From the coldness and the dreariness of village morality.

You were like a traveler who brings a little box of sand

From the wastes about the pyramids

And makes them real and Egypt real.

You were a part of and related to a great past,

And yet you were so close to many of us.

You believed in the joy of life.

You did not seem to be ashamed of the flesh.

You faced life as it is,

And as it changes.

Some of us almost came to you, Father Malloy,

Seeing how your church had divined the heart,

And provided for it,

Through Peter the Flame,

Peter the Rock.