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

195. John Wasson

OH! the dew-wet grass of the meadow in North Carolina

Through which Rebecca followed me wailing, wailing,

One child in her arms, and three that ran along wailing,

Lengthening out the farewell to me off to the war with the British,

And then the long, hard years down to the day of Yorktown.

And then my search for Rebecca,

Finding her at last in Virginia,

Two children dead in the meanwhile.

We went by oxen to Tennessee,

Thence after years to Illinois,

At last to Spoon River.

We cut the buffalo grass,

We felled the forests,

We built the school houses, built the bridges,

Leveled the roads and tilled the fields

Alone with poverty, scourges, death—

If Harry Wilmans who fought the Filipinos

Is to have a flag on his grave

Take it from mine!