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

237. Jeremy Carlisle

PASSER-BY, sin beyond any sin

Is the sin of blindness of souls to other souls.

And joy beyond any joy is the joy

Of having the good in you seen, and seeing the good

At the miraculous moment!

Here I confess to a lofty scorn,

And an acrid skepticism.

But do you remember the liquid that Penniwit

Poured on tintypes, making them blue

With a mist like hickory smoke?

Then how the picture began to clear

Till the face came forth like life?

So you appeared to me, neglected ones,

And enemies too, as I went along

With my face growing clearer to you as yours

Grew clearer to me.

We were ready then to walk together

And sing in chorus and chant the dawn

Of life that is wholly life.