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

41. The Town Marshal


THE PROHIBITIONISTS made me Town Marshal 
When the saloons were voted out, 
Because when I was a drinking man, 
Before I joined the church, I killed a Swede 
At the saw-mill near Maple Grove.         5
And they wanted a terrible man, 
Grim, righteous, strong, courageous, 
And a hater of saloons and drinkers, 
To keep law and order in the village. 
And they presented me with a loaded cane  10
With which I struck Jack McGuire 
Before he drew the gun with which he killed me. 
The Prohibitionists spent their money in vain 
To hang him, for in a dream 
I appeared to one of the twelve jurymen  15
And told him the whole secret story. 
Fourteen years were enough for killing me. 


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