I went to the dances at Chesterville,
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 gathered 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 I passed to a sweet repose.
What is this I hear of sorrow and weariness,
Anger, discontent and drooping hope?
Degenerate sons and daughters,
Life is too strong for you–
It takes life to love Life.
Edgar Lee Masters, from The Spoon River Anthology, 1915