Verse > Edgar Lee Masters > Spoon River Anthology

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

234. Gustav Richter

AFTER a long day of work in my hot-houses 
Sleep was sweet, but if you sleep on your left side 
Your dreams may be abruptly ended. 
I was among my flowers where some one 
Seemed to be raising them on trial,         5
As if after-while to be transplanted 
To a larger garden of freer air. 
And I was disembodied vision 
Amid a light, as it were the sun 
Had floated in and touched the roof of glass  10
Like a toy balloon and softly bursted, 
And etherealized in golden air. 
And all was silence, except the splendor 
Was immanent with thought as clear 
As a speaking voice, and I, as thought,  15
Could hear a Presence think as he walked 
Between the boxes pinching off leaves, 
Looking for bugs and noting values, 
With an eye that saw it all:— 
“Homer, oh yes! Pericles, good.  20
Cæsar Borgia, what shall be done with it? 
Dante, too much manure, perhaps. 
Napoleon, leave him awhile as yet. 
Shelley, more soil. Shakespeare, needs spraying—” 
Clouds, eh!—  25



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