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

229. Alfonso Churchill

THEY laughed at me as “Prof. Moon,”

As a boy in Spoon River, born with the thirst

Of knowing about the stars.

They jeered when I spoke of the lunar mountains,

And the thrilling heat and cold,

And the ebon valleys by silver peaks,

And Spica quadrillions of miles away,

And the littleness of man.

But now that my grave is honored, friends,

Let it not be because I taught

The lore of the stars in Knox College,

But rather for this: that through the stars

I preached the greatness of man,

Who is none the less a part of the scheme of things

For the distance of Spica or the Spiral Nebulæ;

Nor any the less a part of the question

Of what the drama means.