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

31. Doc Hill

I WENT up and down the streets

Here and there by day and night,

Through all hours of the night caring for the poor who were sick.

Do you know why?

My wife hated me, my son went to the dogs.

And I turned to the people and poured out my love to them.

Sweet it was to see the crowds about the lawns on the day of my funeral,

And hear them murmur their love and sorrow.

But oh, dear God, my soul trembled, scarcely able

To hold to the railing of the new life

When I saw Em Stanton behind the oak tree

At the grave,

Hiding herself, and her grief!