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Edgar Lee Masters

(23 August 1868 – 5 March 1950 / Kansas / United States)

Albert Schirding


Jonas Keene thought his lot a hard one
Because his children were all failures.
But I know of a fate more trying than that:
It is to be a failure while your children are successes.
For I raised a brood of eagles
Who flew away at last, leaving me
A crow on the abandoned bough.
Then, with the ambition to prefix Honorable to my name,
And thus to win my children's admiration,
I ran for County Superintendent of Schools,
Spending my accumulations to win -- and lost.
That fall my daughter received first prize in Paris
For her picture, entitled, "The Old Mill" --
(It was of the water mill before Henry Wilkin put in steam.)
The feeling that I was not worthy of her finished me.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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