Edgar Lee Masters: W. Lloyd Garrison Standard (Spoon River Anthology)

VEGETARIAN, non-resistant, free-thinker, in ethics a Christian;
Orator apt at the rhine-stone rhythm of Ingersoll.
Carnivorous, avenger, believer and pagan.
Continent, promiscuous, changeable, treacherous, vain,
Proud, with the pride that makes struggle a thing for laughter;
With heart cored out by the worm of theatric despair.
Wearing the coat of indifference to hide the shame of defeat;
I, child of the abolitionist idealism—
A sort of Brand in a birth of half-and-half.
What other thing could happen when I defended
The patriot scamps who burned the court house
That Spoon River might have a new one
Than plead them guilty?
When Kinsey Keene drove through
The card—board mask of my life with a spear of light,
What could I do but slink away, like the beast of myself
Which I raised from a whelp, to a corner and growl?
The pyramid of my life was nought but a dune,
Barren and formless, spoiled at last by the storm.

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