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

64. George Gray


I HAVE studied many times 
The marble which was chiseled for me— 
A boat with a furled sail at rest in a harbor. 
In truth it pictures not my destination 
But my life.         5
For love was offered me and I shrank from its disillusionment; 
Sorrow knocked at my door, but I was afraid; 
Ambition called to me, but I dreaded the chances. 
Yet all the while I hungered for meaning in my life. 
And now I know that we must lift the sail  10
And catch the winds of destiny 
Wherever they drive the boat. 
To put meaning in one’s life may end in madness, 
But life without meaning is the torture 
Of restlessness and vague desire—  15
It is a boat longing for the sea and yet afraid. 


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