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

212. Wallace Ferguson

THERE at Geneva where Mt. Blanc floated above

The wine-hued lake like a cloud, when a breeze was blown

Out of an empty sky of blue, and the roaring Rhone

Hurried under the bridge through chasms of rock;

And the music along the cafés was part of the splendor

Of dancing water under a torrent of light;

And the purer part of the genius of Jean Rousseau

Was the silent music of all we saw or heard—

There at Geneva, I say, was the rapture less

Because I could not link myself with the I of yore,

When twenty years before I wandered about Spoon River?

Nor remember what I was nor what I felt?

We live in the hour all free of the hours gone by.

Therefore, O soul, if you lose yourself in death,

And wake in some Geneva by some Mt. Blanc,

What do you care if you know not yourself as the you

Who lived and loved in a little corner of earth

Known as Spoon River ages and ages vanished?