Posted by: cosmicgarden | July 30, 2012

Schroeder the Fisherman

Edgar Lee Masters (1868–1950).  Spoon River Anthology.  1916.

165. Schroeder the Fisherman

I SAT on the bank above Bernadotte  
And dropped crumbs in the water,  
Just to see the minnows bump each other,  
Until the strongest got the prize.  
Or I went to my little pasture,          5
Where the peaceful swine were asleep in the wallow,  
Or nosing each other lovingly,  
And emptied a basket of yellow corn,  
And watched them push and squeal and bite,  
And trample each other to get the corn.   10
And I saw how Christian Dallman’s farm,  
Of more than three thousand acres,  
Swallowed the patch of Felix Schmidt,  
As a bass will swallow a minnow.  
And I say if there’s anything in man—   15
Spirit, or conscience, or breath of God  
That makes him different from fishes or hogs,  
I’d like to see it work!  
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