by Edgar Lee Masters
[from Spoon River Anthology, 1915]
Toward the last
The truth of others was untruth to me;
The justice of others injustice to me;
Their reasons for death, reasons with me for life;
Their reasons for life, reasons with me for death;
I would have killed those they saved,
And saved those they killed.
And I saw how a god, if brought to earth,
Must act out what he saw and thought,
And could not live in this world of men
And act among them side by side
Without continual clashes.
The dust’s for crawling, heaven’s for flying–
Wherefore, O soul, whose wings are grown,
Soar upward to the sun!
[To read more Spoon River Anthology click here.]