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

127. Eugene Carman


RHODES’ slave! Selling shoes and gingham, 
Flour and bacon, overalls, clothing, all day long 
For fourteen hours a day for three hundred and thirteen days 
For more than twenty years. 
Saying “Yes’m” and “Yes, sir” and “Thank you”         5
A thousand times a day, and all for fifty dollars a month. 
Living in this stinking room in the rattle-trap “Commercial.” 
And compelled to go to Sunday School, and to listen 
To the Rev. Abner Peet one hundred and four times a year 
For more than an hour at a time,  10
Because Thomas Rhodes ran the church 
As well as the store and the bank. 
So while I was tying my neck-tie that morning 
I suddenly saw myself in the glass: 
My hair all gray, my face like a sodden pie.  15
So I cursed and cursed: You damned old thing! 
You cowardly dog! You rotten pauper! 
You Rhodes’ slave! Till Roger Baughman 
Thought I was having a fight with some one, 
And looked through the transom just in time  20
To see me fall on the floor in a heap 
From a broken vein in my head. 


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