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

225. Willie Pennington

THEY called me the weakling, the simpleton,

For my brothers were strong and beautiful,

While I, the last child of parents who had aged,

Inherited only their residue of power.

But they, my brothers, were eaten up

In the fury of the flesh, which I had not,

Made pulp in the activity of the senses, which I had not,

Hardened by the growth of the lusts, which I had not,

Though making names and riches for themselves.

Then I, the weak one, the simpleton,

Resting in a little corner of life,

Saw a vision, and through me many saw the vision,

Not knowing it was through me.

Thus a tree sprang

From me, a mustard seed.