The Final Word

 

Spoon River Anthology

(1915), by Edgar Lee Masters

 

…the dead have been given one final opportunity to speak to the living in the form of epitaphs. Take a stroll through the graveyard; the words on each tombstone create an image of the way the person’s life was lived. Together, these tombstones tell of a community that strove for perfection and goodness and relied heavily on faith – but, things don’t always turn out as planned…

 

Judge Somers

How does it happen, tell me,
That I who was most erudite of lawyers,
Who knew Blackstone and Coke
Almost by heart, who made the greatest speech
The court-house ever heard, and wrote
A brief that won the praise of Justice Breese
How does it happen, tell me,
That I lie here unmarked, forgotten,
While Chase Henry, the town drunkard,
Has a marble block, topped by an urn
Wherein Nature, in a mood ironical,
Has sown a flowering weed?

 

Spoon River Anthology
Touchstone Classic

 

 

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~ by eaesthete on 04/15/09.

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