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

228. Julian Scott

TOWARD the last

The truth of others was untruth to me;

The justice of others injustice to me;

Their reasons for death, reasons with me for life;

Their reasons for life, reasons with me for death;

I would have killed those they saved,

And saved those they killed.

And I saw how a god, if brought to earth,

Must act out what he saw and thought,

And could not live in this world of men

And act among them side by side

Without continual clashes.

The dust’s for crawling, heaven’s for flying—

Wherefore, O soul, whose wings are grown,

Soar upward to the sun!