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

188. Ami Green

NOT “a youth with hoary head and haggard eye,”

But an old man with a smooth skin

And black hair!

I had the face of a boy as long as I lived,

And for years a soul that was stiff and bent,

In a world which saw me just as a jest,

To be hailed familiarly when it chose,

And loaded up as a man when it chose,

Being neither man nor boy.

In truth it was soul as well as body

Which never matured, and I say to you

That the much-sought prize of eternal youth

Is just arrested growth.