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

198. Lyman King

YOU may think, passer-by, that Fate

Is a pit-fall outside of yourself,

Around which you may walk by the use of foresight

And wisdom.

Thus you believe, viewing the lives of other men,

As one who in God-like fashion bends over an anthill,

Seeing how their difficulties could be avoided.

But pass on into life:

In time you shall see Fate approach you

In the shape of your own image in the mirror;

Or you shall sit alone by your own hearth,

And suddenly the chair by you shall hold a guest,

And you shall know that guest,

And read the authentic message of his eyes.