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

240. Russell Kincaid

IN the last spring I ever knew,

In those last days,

I sat in the forsaken orchard

Where beyond fields of greenery shimmered

The hills at Miller’s Ford;

Just to muse on the apple tree

With its ruined trunk and blasted branches,

And shoots of green whose delicate blossoms

Were sprinkled over the skeleton tangle,

Never to grow in fruit.

And there was I with my spirit girded

By the flesh half dead, the senses numb,

Yet thinking of youth and the earth in youth,—

Such phantom blossoms palely shining

Over the lifeless boughs of Time.

O earth that leaves us ere heaven takes us!

Had I been only a tree to shiver

With dreams of spring and a leafy youth,

Then I had fallen in the cyclone

Which swept me out of the soul’s suspense

Where it’s neither earth nor heaven.