Edgar Lee Masters: Chase Henry and Judge Somers (Spoon River Anthology)

Chase Henry

IN life I was the town drunkard;
When I died the priest denied me burial
In holy ground.
The which redounded to my good fortune.
For the Protestants bought this lot,
And buried my body here,
Close to the grave of the banker Nicholas,
And of his wife Priscilla.
Take note, ye prudent and pious souls,
Of the cross-currents in life
Which bring honor to the dead, who lived in shame

Judge Somers

How does it happen, tell me,
That I who was most erudite of lawyers,
Who knew Blackstone and Coke
Almost by heart, who made the greatest speech
The court-house ever heard, and wrote
A brief that won the praise of Justice Breese
How does it happen, tell me,
That I lie here unmarked, forgotten,
While Chase Henry, the town drunkard,
Has a marble block, topped by an urn
Wherein Nature, in a mood ironical,
Has sown a flowering weed?

***

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2 thoughts on “Edgar Lee Masters: Chase Henry and Judge Somers (Spoon River Anthology)”

  1. My favorite…one of 2 🙂

    Lucinda Matlock
    By Edgar Lee Masters

    I went to the dances at Chandlerville,
    And played snap-out at Winchester.
    One time we changed partners,
    Driving home in the moonlight of middle June,
    And then I found Davis.
    We were married and lived together for seventy years,
    Enjoying, working, raising the twelve children,
    Eight of whom we lost
    Ere I had reached the age of sixty.
    I spun, I wove, I kept the house, I nursed the sick,
    I made the garden, and for holiday
    Rambled over the fields where sang the larks,
    And by Spoon River gathering many a shell,
    And many a flower and medicinal weed —
    Shouting to the wooded hills, singing to the green valleys.
    At ninety-six I had lived enough, that is all,
    And passed to a sweet repose.
    What is this I hear of sorrow and weariness,
    Anger, discontent and drooping hopes?
    Degenerate sons and daughters,
    Life is too strong for you —
    It takes life to love Life.

    Liked by 1 person

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