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

235. Arlo Will


DID you ever see an alligator 
Come up to the air from the mud, 
Staring blindly under the full glare of noon? 
Have you seen the stabled horses at night 
Tremble and start back at the sight of a lantern?         5
Have you ever walked in darkness 
When an unknown door was open before you 
And you stood, it seemed, in the light of a thousand candles 
Of delicate wax? 
Have you walked with the wind in your ears  10
And the sunlight about you 
And found it suddenly shine with an inner splendor? 
Out of the mud many times, 
Before many doors of light, 
Through many fields of splendor,  15
Where around your steps a soundless glory scatters 
Like new-fallen snow, 
Will you go through earth, O strong of soul, 
And through unnumbered heavens 
To the final flame!  20


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