Edgar Lee Masters: Amos Sibley and Mrs. Sibley

Amos Sibley

NOT character, not fortitude, not patience
Were mine, the which the village thought I had
In bearing with my wife, while preaching on,
Doing the work God chose for me.
I loathed her as a termagant, as a wanton.
I knew of her adulteries, every one.
But even so, if I divorced the woman
I must forsake the ministry.
Therefore to do God’s work and have it crop,
I bore with her
So lied I to myself
So lied I to Spoon River!
Yet I tried lecturing, ran for the legislature,
Canvassed for books, with just the thought in mind:
If I make money thus,
I will divorce her.

Mrs. Sibley

THE secret of the stars— gravitation.
The secret of the earth— layers of rock.
The secret of the soil— to receive seed.
The secret of the seed— the germ.
The secret of man— the sower.
The secret of woman— the soil.
My secret: Under a mound that you shall never find.

***

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