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

97. Eugenia Todd

HAVE any of you, passers-by,

Had an old tooth that was an unceasing discomfort?

Or a pain in the side that never quite left you?

Or a malignant growth that grew with time?

So that even in profoundest slumber

There was shadowy consciousness or the phantom of thought

Of the tooth, the side, the growth?

Even so thwarted love, or defeated ambition,

Or a blunder in life which mixed your life

Hopelessly to the end,

Will, like a tooth, or a pain in the side,

Float through your dreams in the final sleep

Till perfect freedom from the earth-sphere

Comes to you as one who wakes

Healed and glad in the morning!