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

150. Edmund Pollard


I WOULD I had thrust my hands of flesh 
Into the disk-flowers bee-infested, 
Into the mirror-like core of fire 
Of the light of life, the sun of delight. 
For what are anthers worth or petals         5
Or halo-rays? Mockeries, shadows 
Of the heart of the flower, the central flame! 
All is yours, young passer-by; 
Enter the banquet room with the thought; 
Don’t sidle in as if you were doubtful  10
Whether you’re welcome—the feast is yours! 
Nor take but a little, refusing more 
With a bashful “Thank you,” when you’re hungry. 
Is your soul alive? Then let it feed! 
Leave no balconies where you can climb;  15
Nor milk-white bosoms where you can rest; 
Nor golden heads with pillows to share; 
Nor wine cups while the wine is sweet; 
Nor ecstasies of body or soul, 
You will die, no doubt, but die while living  20
In depths of azure, rapt and mated, 
Kissing the queen-bee, Life! 


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