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

59. Cooney Potter

I INHERITED forty acres from my Father

And, by working my wife, my two sons and two daughters

From dawn to dusk, I acquired

A thousand acres. But not content,

Wishing to own two thousand acres,

I bustled through the years with axe and plow,

Toiling, denying myself, my wife, my sons, my daughters.

Squire Higbee wrongs me to say

That I died from smoking Red Eagle cigars.

Eating hot pie and gulping coffee

During the scorching hours of harvest time

Brought me here ere I had reached my sixtieth year.