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

123. Jonathan Swift Somers*


AFTER you have enriched your soul 
To the highest point, 
With books, thought, suffering, the understanding of many personalities, 
The power to interpret glances, silences, 
The pauses in momentous transformations,         5
The genius of divination and prophecy; 
So that you feel able at times to hold the world 
In the hollow of your hand; 
Then, if, by the crowding of so many powers 
Into the compass of your soul,  10
Your soul takes fire, 
And in the conflagration of your soul 
The evil of the world is lighted up and made clear— 
Be thankful if in that hour of supreme vision 
Life does not fiddle.

  *Author of THE SPOONIAD.
  15


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