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

148. Roy Butler


IF the learned Supreme Court of Illinois 
Got at the secret of every case 
As well as it does a case of rape 
It would be the greatest court in the world. 
A jury, of neighbors mostly, with “Butch” Weldy         5
As foreman, found me guilty in ten minutes 
And two ballots on a case like this: 
Richard Bandle and I had trouble over a fence, 
And my wife and Mrs. Bandle quarreled 
As to whether Ipava was a finer town than Table Grove.  10
I awoke one morning with the love of God 
Brimming over my heart, so I went to see Richard 
To settle the fence in the spirit of Jesus Christ. 
I knocked on the door, and his wife opened; 
She smiled and asked me in; I entered—  15
She slammed the door and began to scream, 
“Take your hands off, you low down varlet!” 
Just then her husband entered. 
I waved my hands, choked up with words. 
He went for his gun, and I ran out.  20
But neither the Supreme Court nor my wife 
Believed a word she said. 


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