by Edgar Lee Masters
[from Spoon River Anthology, 1915]
I began with Sir William Hamilton’s lectures.
Then studied Dugald Stewart,
And then John Locke on the Understanding,
And then Descartes, Fichte and Schelling,
Kant and then Schopenhauer–
Books I borrowed from old Judge Somers.
All read with rapturous industry,
Hoping it was reserved to me
To grasp the tail of the ultimate secret,
And drag it out of its hole.
My soul flew up ten thousand miles
And only the moon looked a little bigger.
Then I fell back, how glad of the earth!
All through the soul of William Jones
Who showed me a letter of John Muir.
[To read more Spoon River Anthology click here.]