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

70. Dora Williams

WHEN Reuben Pantier ran away and threw me

I went to Springfield. There I met a lush,

Whose father just deceased left him a fortune.

He married me when drunk. My life was wretched.

A year passed and one day they found him dead.

That made me rich. I moved on to Chicago.

After a time met Tyler Rountree, villain.

I moved on to New York. A gray-haired magnate

Went mad about me—so another fortune.

He died one night right in my arms, you know.

(I saw his purple face for years thereafter.)

There was almost a scandal. I moved on,

This time to Paris. I was now a woman,

Insidious, subtle, versed in the world and rich.

My sweet apartment near the Champs Élysées

Became a center for all sorts of people,

Musicians, poets, dandies, artists, nobles,

Where we spoke French and German, Italian, English.

I wed Count Navigato, native of Genoa.

We went to Rome. He poisoned me, I think.

Now in the Campo Santo overlooking

The sea where young Columbus dreamed new worlds,

See what they chiseled: ”Contessa Navigato

Implora eterna quiete.”