Edgar Lee Masters: Marie Bateson (Spoon River Anthology)

You observe the carven hand
With the index finger pointing heavenward.
That is the direction, no doubt.
But how shall one follow it?
It is well to abstain from murder and lust,
To forgive, do good to others, worship God
Without graven images.
But these are external means after all
By which you chiefly do good to yourself.
The inner kernel is freedom,
It is light, purity—
I can no more,
Find the goal or lose it, according to your vision.

***

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