I went to the dances at Chandlerville, And played snap-out at Winchester. One time we changed partners, Driving home in the moonlight of middle June, And then I found Davis. We were married and lived together for seventy years, Enjoying, working, raising the twelve children, Eight of whom we lost Ere I had reached the age of sixty. I spun, I wove, I kept the house, I nursed the sick, I made the garden, and for holiday Rambled over the fields where sang the larks, And by Spoon River gathering many a shell, And many a flower and medicinal weed-- Shouting to the wooded hills, singing to the green valleys. At ninety-six I had lived enough, that is all, And passed to a sweet repose. What is this I hear of sorrow and weariness, Anger, discontent and drooping hopes? Degenerate sons and daughters, Life is too strong for you-- It takes life to love Life.
Edgar Lee Masters - 1868-1950
She took my strength by minutes, She took my life by hours, She drained me like a fevered moon That saps the spinning world. The days went by like shadows, The minutes wheeled like stars. She took the pity from my heart, And made it into smiles. She was a hunk of sculptor's clay, My secret thoughts were fingers: They flew behind her pensive brow And lined it deep with pain. They set the lips, and sagged the cheeks, And drooped the eyes with sorrow. My soul had entered in the clay, Fighting like seven devils. It was not mine, it was not hers; She held it, but its struggles Modeled a face she hated, And a face I feared to see. I beat the windows, shook the bolts. I hid me in a corner-- And then she died and haunted me, And hunted me for life.