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

62. Louise Smith

HERBERT broke our engagement of eight years

When Annabelle returned to the village

From the Seminary, ah me!

If I had let my love for him alone

It might have grown into a beautiful sorrow—

Who knows?—filling my life with healing fragrance.

But I tortured it, I poisoned it,

I blinded its eyes, and it became hatred—

Deadly ivy instead of clematis.

And my soul fell from its support,

Its tendrils tangled in decay.

Do not let the will play gardener to your soul

Unless you are sure

It is wiser than your soul’s nature.