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

69. Robert Southey Burke

I SPENT my money trying to elect you Mayor,

A. D. Blood.

I lavished my admiration upon you,

You were to my mind the almost perfect man.

You devoured my personality,

And the idealism of my youth,

And the strength of a high-souled fealty.

And all my hopes for the world,

And all my beliefs in Truth,

Were smelted up in the blinding heat

Of my devotion to you,

And molded into your image.

And then when I found what you were:

That your soul was small

And your words were false

As your blue-white porcelain teeth,

And your cuffs of celluloid,

I hated the love I had for you,

I hated myself, I hated you

For my wasted soul, and wasted youth.

And I say to all, beware of ideals,

Beware of giving your love away

To any man alive.