Verse > Edgar Lee Masters > Spoon River Anthology
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Edgar Lee Masters (1868–1950).  Spoon River Anthology.  1916.

120. John Cabanis


NEITHER spite, fellow citizens, 
Nor forgetfulness of the shiftlessness, 
And the lawlessness and waste 
Under democracy’s rule in Spoon River 
Made me desert the party of law and order         5
And lead the liberal party. 
Fellow citizens! I saw as one with second sight 
That every man of the millions of men 
Who give themselves to Freedom, 
And fail while Freedom fails,  10
Enduring waste and lawlessness, 
And the rule of the weak and the blind, 
Dies in the hope of building earth, 
Like the coral insect, for the temple 
To stand on at the last.  15
And I swear that Freedom will wage to the end 
The war for making every soul 
Wise and strong and as fit to rule 
As Plato’s lofty guardians 
In a world republic girdled!  20


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