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

45. Jacob Goodpasture

WHEN Fort Sumter fell and the war came

I cried out in bitterness of soul:

“O glorious republic now no more!”

When they buried my soldier son

To the call of trumpets and the sound of drums

My heart broke beneath the weight

Of eighty years, and I cried:

“Oh, son who died in a cause unjust!

In the strife of Freedom slain!”

And I crept here under the grass.

And now from the battlements of time, behold:

Thrice thirty million souls being bound together

In the love of larger truth,

Rapt in the expectation of the birth

Of a new Beauty,

Sprung from Brotherhood and Wisdom.

I with eyes of spirit see the Transfiguration

Before you see it.

But ye infinite brood of golden eagles nesting ever higher,

Wheeling ever higher, the sun-light wooing

Of lofty places of Thought,

Forgive the blindness of the departed owl.