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Edgar Lee Master

Spoon River Anthology


Where are Elmer, Herman, Bert, Tom and Charley,

The weak of will, the strong of arm, the clow, the

boozer, the fighter?

All, all, are sleeping on the hill.

One passed in a fever,

One was burned in a mine,

One was killed in a brawl,

One died in a jail

One fell from a bridge toiling for children and wife —

All, all are sleeping , sleeping, sleeping on the hill.

Where are Ella, Kare, Mag, Lizzie and Edith,

The tender heart, the simple soul, the loud, the proud,

the happy one? —

All, all, are sleeping on the hill.

One died in shamful child-birth,

One of a thwarted love,

One at the hands of a brute in a brothel,

One of a broken pride, in the search for heart’s desire,

One after life in far-away London and Paris

Was brought to her little space by Ella and Kare and

Mag —

All, all, are sleeping, sleeping, sleeping on the hill.

Where are Uncle Isaac and Aunt Emily,

And old Towny Kincaid and Sevigne Houghton,

And Major Walker who talked

With venerable men of the revolution? —

All, all, are sleeping on the hill.

They brought them dead sons from the war,

And daughters whom life had crushed,

And their children fatherless, crying —

All, all, are sleeping, sleeping, sleeping on the hill.

Where is Old Fiddler Jones

Who played with life all his ninety years,

Braving the sleet with bared breast,

Drinking, rioting, thinking neither of wife nor kin,

Nor gold, nor love, nor heaven?

Lo! He babbles of the fish-frys of long ago,

Of the horse-races of long ago at Clary’s Grove,

Of what Abe Lincoln said

One time at Springfield.


Have you seen walking throught the village

A man with downcast eyes and haggard face?

That is my husband who, by secret cruelty

Never to be told, robbed me of my youth and my beauty;

Till at last, wrinkled and with yellow teeth,

And with broken pride and shameful humility,

I sank into the grave.

But what think you graws at my husband’s heart?


Dove sono Elmer, Herman, Bert, Tom e Charley,

Il debole di, il forte di braccio, il clown, l'ubriacone, il


Tutti, tutti, dormono sulla collina.

Uno è morto per febbre,

Uno fu bruciato in una miniera,

Uno è stato ucciso in una rissa,

Uno è morto in una prigione

Uno è caduto da un ponte affaticato da moglie e figli —

Tutti, tutti dormono, dornomo, dormono sulla collina.

Dove sono Ella, Kate, Mag, Lizzie ed Edith,

Il cuore tenero, l'anima semplice, la rumorosa,

l'orgogliosa, l’unica felice? _

Tutte, tutte, dormono sulla collina.

Una è morto tra i dolori del parto,

Una di contrastato amore,

Una per causa di un bruto in un bordello,

Una di un orgoglio infranto, alla ricerca del desiderio

del cuore,

Una dopo una vita nelle lontane Londra e Parigi

Le è stato portato via un po’ di spazio da Ella e Kate e

Mag —

Tutte, tutte dormono, dornomo, dormono sulla collina.

Dove sono Zio Isaac e Zia Emily,

E il vecchio Towny Kincaid e Sevigne Houghton,

E il sindaco Walker che ha parlato

Con uomini venerabili della rivoluzione? —

Tutti, tutti, dormono sulla collina.

Hanno riportato i propri figli morti dalla guerra,

E figlie che vita aveva schiacciato,

E i loro bambini senza padre, piangenti —

Tutti, tutti dormono, dornomo, dormono sulla collina.

Dove è Old Fiddler Jones

Che ha giocato con vita tutti suoi novanta anni,

Affrontare il nevischio con scoperta mammella,

Bere, insorgere, pensare né l'uno né l'altro di moglie nè


Nè oro, nè amore, nè cielo?

Ecco! Lui farnetica di pesce fritto di tempo fa,

Di corse di cavalli di tempo fa al Boschetto di Clary,

Di quello che Abe Lincoln ha detto

Un tempo a Springfield.


Avete visto camminare attraverso il villaggio

Un uomo con occhi sconfortati e faccia sparuta?

Quello è mio marito che, con crudeltà segreta e

Inaudita, mi ha derubato della mia gioventù e della mia


Fino a che, finalmente, grinzoso e con denti gialli,

E senza alcun orgoglio ed vergognosa,

L’ho portato nella tomba.

Ora, a cosa pensate assomigli il cuore di mio marito?

The face of what I was, the face of what he made me!.These are driving him to the place where I lie.

In death, therefore, I am avenged.


She took my strength by minutes,

She took my life by hours,

She drained me like a fevered moon

Tha saps the spinning world.

The days went by like shadows,

The minutes wheeled like stars,

She took the pity from my hearth,

And made in into smiles.

She was a hunk of sculptor’s clay,

My secret thoughts were fingers:

They flew behind her pensive brow

And lined it deep with pain

They set the lips, and sagged the cheecks

And drooped the eyes with sorrow.

My soul had entered in the day,

Fighting like seven devils.

It was not mine, it was not hers;

She held it, but its struggles

Modeled a face she hated,

And a face I feared to see.

I beat the windows, shook the bolts.

I hid me in a corner —

And then she died and haunted me,

And haunted me for life


If a man could bite the giant hand

That catches and destroys him,

As I was bitten by a rat

While demonstrating my patent trap,

In my hardware store that day.

But a man can never avenge himself

On the monstrous ogre Life.

You enter the room — that’s being born;

And then you must live — work out your soul,

Aha! The bait that you crave is in view:

A woman with money you want to marry,

Prestige, place, or power in the world.

But there’s work to do and thing to conquer —

Oh, yes! The wires that screen the bait.

At last you get in — but you hear a step:

The ogre, Life, comes into the room,

(He was waiting and heard the clang of the spring)

To watch you nibble the wondrous cheese,

And stare with his burning eyes at you,

And scowl and laugh, and mock and curse you,

Running up and down in the trap,

Until your misery bores him.


My life’s blossom micht have bloomed on all sides

Save for a bitter wind which stunted my petals

On the side of me which you in the village could see.

From the dust I lift a voice of protest:

My flowering side you never saw!

Ye living ones, ye are fools indeed

Who do not know the ways of the wind

La faccia di quello che ero, la faccia di quello che mi ha


Questi lo guidano al luogo dove giaccio.

In morte perciò, sono vendicata.



SEREPTA MASON.And the unseen forces

That govern the processes of life.


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 Protestant bought this lot,

And burried my body here,

Close tho the grave of the banker Nicholas

And 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.


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 ever heard, and wrote

A brief tha won the praise of Justice Breese —

How does it happen, tell me,

That I lie here unmarked, forgotten,

While Chase Henry, the town drunkhard,

Has a marble block, topped by an urn,

Wherein Nature, in a mood ironical,

Has sown a flowering weed?


Well, Emily Sparks, your prayers were not wasted,

Your love was not all in vain.

I owe whatever I was in life

To your love that saw me still as good.

Dear Emily Sparks, let me tell you the story.

I pass the effect of my father and mother,

The milliner’s daughter made me trouble

And out I went in the world,

Where I passed throught every peril known

Of wine and women and joy of life.

One night, in a room in the Rue de Rivoli,

I was drinking wine with a black-eyed cocotte,

And the tears swam into my eyes.

She thought they were amorous tears and smiled

For thought of her conquest over me.

But my soul was three thousand miles away,

In the days when you taught me in Spoon River.

And just beacuse you no more could love me,

Not pray for me, nor write me letters,

The eternal silence of you spoke instead.

And black-eyed cocotte took the tears for hers,

As well at the deceiving kisses I gave her.

Somehow, from that hour, I had a new vision —

Dear Emily Sparks!


Where is my boy, my boy —

In what far part of the world?

The boy I loved best of all in the school? —

I, the teacher, the old maid, the virgin hearth,




EMILY SPARKS.Who made them all my children,

Did I know my boy aright,

Thinking of him as spirit aflame,

Active, ever aspiring?

Oh, boy, boy, for whom I prayed and prayed

In many a watchful hour at nicht,

Do you remember the letter I wrote you

Of the beautiful love of Christ?

And whether you ever took it or not,

My boy, wherever you are,

Work for your soul’s sake,

that all the clay of you, all of the dross of you,

May field to the fire of you,

Till the fire is nothing but light!...

Nothing but light!


No other man, unless it as Doc Hill,

Did more for people in this town than I.

And all the weak, the halt, the improvident

And those who could not pay flocked to me.

I was good-hearted, easy Doctor Meyers.

I was healthy, happy, in confrtable fortune,

Blessed with a congenial mate, my children raised,

All wedded, doing well in the world.

And then one night, Minerva, the potess,

Came to me in her trouble, crying.

I tried to help her out — she died —

The indicted me, the newspapeers disgraced me.

My wife perished of a broken heart.

And pneumonia finished me.


He protested all his life long

The newspapers lied about him villainously;

That he was not at fault for Minerva’s fall,

But only, tried to help her.

Poor soul so sunk in sin he could not see

That even trying to help her, as he called it,

He had broken the law human and divine.

Passers by, an ancient admonition to you:

If your ways would be ways of pleasantness,

And all your pathways peace,

Love God and keep his commandaments.


After I got religion and steadied down

They gave me a job in the canning works,

And every morning I had to fill

The tank in the yard with gasoline,

That fed the blow-fires in the sheds

To heat the soldering irons.

And I mounted a rickery ladder to do it,

Carrying buckets full of the stuff.

One morning, as I stood there pouring,

The air grew still and seemed to heave,

And I shot up as the tank exploded,

And down I came whith both legs broken,

And my eyes burned crisp as a couple of eggs,

For someone left a blow-fire going,

And something sucked the flame in the tank.

The circuit Judge said whoever did it

Was a fellow servant of mine, and so



«BUTCH» WELDY.Old Rhodes’ son didn’t have to pay me.

And I sat on the witness stand as blind

As Jack the Fiddler, saying over and over,

«I didn’t know him at all».


I was the first fruits of the battle of Missionary Ridge.

When I felt the bullet enter my heart

I wished I had staid at home and gone to jail

For stealing the hogs of Curl Trenary,

Instead of running away and joining the army.

Rather a thousand times the county jail

Than to lie under this marble figure with wings,

And this granite pedestal

Bearing the works, «Pro Patria».

What do they mean, anyway?


Knowlt Hoheimer ran away to the war

The day before Curl Trenary

Swore out a warrant through Justice Arnett

For sealing hogs.

But that’s not the reason he turned a soldier.

He caught me running with Lucius Atherton.

We quarreled and I told him never again

To cross my path.

Then he stole the hogs and I went to the war —

Back of every soldier is a woman.


Do the boys and girls still go to Siever’s

For cider, after school, in late September?

Or gather hazel nuts among the tickets

On Aaron Herfield’s farm when the frosts begin?

For many times with the laughing girls and boys

Played I along the road and over the hills

When the sun was low and the air was cool,

Stopping to club the walnut tree

Standing leafless against a flaming west.

Now, the smell of the autumn smoke,

And the dropping acorns,

And the echoes about the vales

Bring dreams of life. They hover over me.

They question me:

Where are those laughing comrades?

How many are with me, how many

In the old orchards along the way to Siever’s

And in the woods that overlook

The quiet water?


I went up and down the sctreets

Here and there by day and night,

trough all hours of the night caring for the poor who

were sick.

Do you know why?

My wife hated me, my son went to the dogs.

And I turned to the people and poured out my love to


Sweet it was to see the crowd about the lawns on the

day of my funeral,

And hear then murmur teir love and sorrow.




DOC HILL.But oh, dear God, my soul trembled — scarcely able

To hold to the railing of the new life

When I saw Em Stanton behind the oak tree

At the grave,

Hilding herself, and her grief!


Maurice, weep not, I am not here under this pine tree.

The balmy air for spring whispers through the sweet


The stars sparkle, the whippoorwill calls,

But thou grievest, while my soul lies rapturous

In the blest Nirvana of eternal light!

Go to the good hearth that is my husband,

Who broods upon what he calls our guilty love: —

Tell him that my love for you, no less than my love for


Wrought out my destiny — that through the flesh

I won spirit, and through spirit, peace.

There is no marriage in heaven,

But there is love.


As a boy, Theodore, you sat for long hours

One the shore of the turbid Spoon

With deep-set eye starting at the door of the crawfish’s


Waiting for him to appear, pushing ahead,

First his aving antennae, like staws of hay,

as soon his body, colored like soap-stone,

Gemmed with eyes of jet.

And you wondered in a trance of thought

What he knew, what he desired, and why he lived at all.

But later your vision watched for men and women

Hiding in burrows of late amid great cities,

Looking for the souls of them to come out,

So that you could see

How they lived, and for what,

And why they kept crawling so busily

Along the sandy way where water fails

As the summer wanes.


When my moustache curled,

And my hair was black,

And I wore tight trousers

And a diamond stud,

I was an excellent knave of hearts and took many a trick.

But when the gray hairs began to appear —

Lo! A new generation of girls

Laughed at me, not fearing me,

And I had no more exciting adventures

Wherein I was all but shot for a heartless devil,

But only drabbly affairs, warmed-over affairs

Of other ways and other men.

And time went on until I lived at Mayer’s restaurant,

Partaking of short-orders, a gray, untidy,

Toothless, discarded, rural Don Juan...

There is might shade here who sings

Of one named Beatrice;

And I see new that the force that made him great



LUCIUS ATHERTON.Dove me to the dregs of life.


The earth keeps some vibration going

There in your hearth, and that is you.

And if the people find you can fiddle,

Why, fiddle you must, for all your life.

What do you see, a harvest of clover?

Or a meadow to wolk throught to the river?

The wind’s in the corn; you rub your hands

For beeves hereafter ready for market;

Or else you hear the rustle of skirts

Like the girls when dancing at Little Grove.

To Cooney Potter a pillar of dust

Or whirling leaves meant ruinous drouth;

They looked to me like Red-Head Sammy

Stepping it off, to Toor-a-Loor.

How could I till my forty acres

Not to speak of getting more,

With a medley of horns, bassons and piccolos

Stirred in my brain by cross and robins

And the creak of a wind-mill — only these?

And I never started to plow in my life

That some one did not stop in the road

And I never started to plow in my life

Tha some one did not stop in the road

And take me away to a dance or picnic.

I ended up with forty acres;

I ended up with a broken fiddle —

And a broken laugh, and a thousand memories,

And not a single refret.


Herbet broke our engagement of eight years

When Annabelle returned to the village

From the Seminary, ah me!

If I had hlet my love for him alone

It might hae grow into a beautiful sorrow —

Who knows? — filling my life with healing fragrance.

But I tortured it, I soisoned it,

I blinded its eyes, and it became hatred —

Deadly ivy instead of clemantis.

And my soul fell from its support,

Its tendrils tangled in decay.

Do not let the will play gardener to your soul

Unless you are sure

It is wiser than your soul’s nature.


All your sorrow, Louise, and hatred of me

Sprang from your delusion that it was wantonnes

Of spirit and contempt of your soul’s rights

Which made me turn to Annabelle and forsake you.

You really grew to hate me for love of me,

Because I was your soul’s happiness,

Formed and tempered

To solve your life for you, and would not.

But you were my misery. If you had been

My happness would I not have clung to you?

This is life’s sorrow:

That one can be happy only where two are;

And that our hearts are drawn to stars

Which want us not.




Take note, passers-by of the sharp erosions

Eaten in my head-stone by the wind and rain —

Almost as if an intangible Nemesis or hatred

Were marking scores against me,

But to destroy, and not preserve, my memory.

I in life was the Circuit Judge, a marker of notches,

Deciding cases on the points the lawyers scored,

Not on the right of the matter.

O wind and rain, leave my head-stone alone!

For worse than anger of the wronged,

The curses of the poor,

Was to lie speechless, yet with visione clear,

Seeing that even Hod Putt, the murderer,

Hanged by my sentence,

Was innocent in soul compared with me.


I had fiddled all day at the county fair.

But driving home «Butch» Weldy and Jack McGuire,

Who were roaring full, made me fiddle and fiddle

To the song of susie Skinner, while whipping the horses

Till they ran away.

Blind as I was, I tried to get out

As the carriage fell in the ditch,

And was caught in the wheels and killed.

There’s blind man here with a brow

As big and white as a cloud.

And all we fiddlers, from higest to lowest,

Writers of music and tellers of stories,

Sit at his feet,

And hear him sing of the fall of Troy.


Have any of you, passers-by,

Had an old rooth that was an unceasing discomfort?

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

Or a malignant growth that grew with time?

So that even in profoundest slumber

There was shadowy consciusness or the phantom of


Of the tooth, the side, the growth?

Even so twarted love, or defeated ambition,

Or a blunder in life wich 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!




Rich, honored by my fellow citizens,

The father of many children, born of a noble mother,

Alla raised there

In the great mansion-house, at the edge of town,

Note the cedar tree on the Iwan!

I sent all the boys to Ann Arbor, all the girls to


To while my life went on, getting more riches and

honors —

Resting under my cedar three at evening.

The year went on.

I sent the girls in Europe:

I dowered them when married.

I gave the boys money to start in business.

They were strong children, promising as apples

Before the bitten places show.

But John field the country in disgrace.

Jenny died in child-birth —

I sat under my cedar tree.

Harry killed himself after a debauch,

Susan was divorced —

I sat under my cedar tree.

Paul was invalided from over study,

Mary became a recluse at home for love of a man —

I sat under my cedar tree.

All were gone, or broken-winged or devoured by life —

I sat under my cedar tree.

My mate, the mother of them, was taken.

I sat under my cedar tree.

Till ninety years were tolled.

Oh maternal Earth, which rocks the fallen leaf to sleep!


Dear Jane! Dear winsome Jane!

How you stole, in the room (where I law so ill)

In your nurse’s cap and linen cuffs,

And took my hand and said with a smile:

«You are not so ill — you’ll soon be well».

And how the liquid throught of your eyes

Sank in my eyes like dew that slips

Into the heart of a flower.

Dear Jane! The whole McNeely fortune

Could not have bought you care of me,

By day and night, and night and day;

Not paid for you smile, not the warmth of your soul,

In your little hands laid on my brow.

Jane, till the flame of life went out

In the dark above the disk of night

I longed and hoped to be well again

To pillow my head on your little breasts,

And hold you fast in a claps of love —

Did my father provide for you when he died,

Jane, dear Jane?



To love is to find your own soul

Through the soul of the beloved one.

When the beloved one withdraws itself from your soul

Then you have lost your soul.

It is written: «You have a friend,



MARY MCNEELY.But my sorrow has no friend»,

Hence my long years of solitude at the home of my


Trying to get myself back,

And to turn my sorrow into a supremer self.

But there was my father with his sorrows,

Sitting under the cedar tree,

A picture that sank into my heart at last

Bringing infinite repose.

Oh, ye souls who have made life

Fragrant and white as tuberoses

From earth’s dark soil,

Eternal peace!


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 thousht in mind:

If I make money thus, I will divorce her.


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.


Ye aspiring ones, listen to the story of the unknown

Who lies her with no stone to mark the place.

As a boy reckless and wanton,

Wandering with gun in hand through the forest

Near the mansion of Aaron Hatfield,

I shot a hawk perched on the top

Of a dead tree.

He fell with guttural cry

At my feet, his wing broken.

Then I put him in a cage

Where he lived many days cawing angrily at me

When I offered him food.

Daily I search the realms of Hades

For the soul of the hawk,

That I may offer him the frindship

Of one whom life wounded and caged.


My parents thought that I would be

As great as Edison or greater:

For as a boy I made balloons

And wondrous kites and toys with clocks





We stand about this place — we, the memories;

And shade our eyes because we dread to read:

«June 17 th , 1884, aged 21 years and 3 days».

And all things are changed.

And we — we, the memories, stand here for ourselves


For no eye marks us, or would know why we are here.

Your husband is dead, you sister lives far away,

Your father is bent with age:

He has forgotten you, he scrcely leaves the house

Any more.

No one remembers you exquisite face,

Your lyric voice!

How you sang, even on the morning you were stricken,

With piercing seetness, with thrilling sorrow,

Before the advent of the child which died with you.

It is all fogotten, save by us, the memories,

Who are forgotten, by the world.

All is changed, save the river and the hill —

Even they are changed.

Only the burning sun and the quiet stars are the same.

And we — we, the memories, stand here in awe,

Our eyes closed with the weariness of tears —

In immesurable weariness!


You may think, passer-by, that Fate

Is a pit-fall outside of yourself,

Around which you may walk by the use of foresight

And wisdom

Thus you believe, viewing the lives of ohter men,

As one who in God-like fashion bends over an anthill,

Seeing how teir difficulties could be avoided.

But pass on into life:

In time you shall see Fate approach you

In the shape of your own image in the mirror;

Or you shall sit alone by your own hearth,

And suddendly the shair by you shall hold a guest,

And you shall know that guest,

And read the authentic message of his eyes.


Your red blossoms amid green leaves

And little engines with tracks to run on

And telephones of cans and thread,

I played the cornet and painted pictures,

Modeled in clay and took the part

Of the villain in the Octoroon

But then at twenty-one I married

And had to live, and so, to live

I learned the trade of making watches

And kept the jewelry store in the square,

Thinking, thinking, thinking, thinking, —

Not of business, but of the engine

I studied the calculus to build.

And all Spoon River watched and waited

To see it work, but it never worked.

And few kind souls believed my genius

Was somehow hampered by the store.

It wasn’t true. The truth was this:



MABEL OSBORNE.I didn’t have the brains.

Are drooping, beautiful geranium!

But you do not ask for water.

You cannot speak! You do not need to speak —

Everyone knows that you are dying of thirst,

Yet they do not bring water!

They pass on, saying:

«The geranium wants water».

And I, who had happiness to share

And longed to share your happiness;

I who loved you, Spoon River,

And craved you love,

Whithered before your eyesm Spoon River —

Thirsting, thirsting,

Voiceless from chasteness of soul to ask you for love,

You who knew and saw me perish before you,

Like this geranium which someone has planted over me,

And left to die.


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 mursed the sick,

I made the garden, and for holiday

Tambled over the fields where sang the larks,

And by Spoon Rivers gathering many a shell,

And many a flower and medicinal weed —

Shouting to the wooded hills, singing to the green


At ninety-six I had lived enough, that is all,

And passed to a sweet repose.

What is this I heat 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.


You observe the carven hand

With the index finger pinting heavenward.

That is the direction, no doubt.

But how shall one follow it?

It is well to abstain from murder and lust,

To forgeive, 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 visione.



I was Willie Metcalf.

They used to call me «Doctor Meyers»

Because, they said, I looked like him.

And he was my father, according to Jack McGuire.

I lived in the livery stable,

Sleeping on the floor

Side by side with Roger Baughman’s bulldog,

Or sometimes in a stall.

I could crawl between the legs of the wildest horses

Without getting kicked — we knew each other.

On spring days I tramped through the country

To get the feeling, which I sometimes lost,

That I was not a separate thing from the earth.

I used to lose myself, as if in sleep,

by lying with eyes half-open in the woods.

Sometimes I talked ith animals — even toads and snakes

Anything that had an eye to look into

Once I saw a stone in the sunshine

Trying to turn into jelly.

In april days in this cemetery

The dead people gathered alla about me,

and grew still, like a congregation in silent prayer.

I never knew whether I was a part of the earth

With flowers growing in me, or wheter I walked —

Now I Know.