by Edgar Lee Masters
[from Spoon River Anthology, 1 of 33 poems added to the 1916 edition]
God! ask me not to record your wonders,
I admit the stars and the suns
And the countless worlds.
But I have measured their distances
And weighed them and discovered their substances.
I have devised wings for the air,
And keels for water,
And horses of iron for the earth.
I have lengthened the vision you gave me a million times,
And the hearing you gave me a million times,
I have leaped over space with speech,
And taken fire for light out of the air.
I have built great cities and bored through the hills,
And bridged majestic waters.
I have written the Iliad and Hamlet;
And I have explored your mysteries,
And searched for you without ceasing,
And found you again after losing you
In hours of weariness–
And I ask you:
How would you like to create a sun
And the next day have the worms
Slipping in and out between your fingers?
[To read more Spoon River Anthology click here.]