Edgar Lee
MastersUS stamp
Hiram Scates
by Edgar Lee Masters
from Spoon River Anthology [1915]

I tried to win the nomination
For president of the County Board
And I made speeches all over the county
Denouncing Solomon Purple, my rival,
As an enemy of the people,
In league with the master-foes of man.
Young idealists, broken warriors,
Hobbling on one crutch of hope,
Souls that stake their all on the truth,
Losers of worlds at heaven’s bidding,
Flocked about me and followed my voice
As the savior of the County.
But Solomon won the nomination;
And then I faced about,
And rallied my followers to his standard,
And made him victor, made him King
Of the Golden Mountain with the door
Which closed on my heels just as I entered,
Flattered by Solomon’s invitation,
To be the County Board’s secretary.
And out in the cold stood all my followers:
Young idealists, broken warriors
Hobbling on one crutch of hope–
Souls that staked their all on the truth,
Losers of worlds at heaven’s bidding,
Watching the Devil kick the Millennium
Over the Golden Mountain.

[To read more Spoon River Anthology click
here
.]

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