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

227. John Ballard

IN the lust of my strength

I cursed God, but he paid no attention to me:

I might as well have cursed the stars.

In my last sickness I was in agony, but I was resolute

And I cursed God for my suffering;

Still He paid no attention to me;

He left me alone, as He had always done.

I might as well have cursed the Presbyterian steeple.

Then, as I grew weaker, a terror came over me:

Perhaps I had alienated God by cursing him.

One day Lydia Humphrey brought me a bouquet

And it occurred to me to try to make friends with God,

So I tried to make friends with Him;

But I might as well have tried to make friends with the bouquet.

Now I was very close to the secret,

For I really could make friends with the bouquet

By holding close to me the love in me for the bouquet

And so I was creeping upon the secret, but—