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Masters, Edgar Lee: Spoon River Anthology - Harry Wilmans

Portre of Masters, Edgar Lee

Spoon River Anthology - Harry Wilmans (English)

  I was just turned twenty-one,

  And Henry Phipps, the Sunday-school superintendent,

  Made a speech in Bindle's Opera House.

  "The honor of the flag must be upheld," he said,

  "Whether it be assailed by a barbarous tribe of


  Or the greatest power in Europe."

  And we cheered and cheered the speech and the flag

  he waved

  As he spoke.

  And I went to the war in spite of my father,

  And followed the flag till I saw it raised

  By our camp in a rice field near Manila,

  And all of us cheered and cheered it.

  But there were flies and poisonous things;

  And there was the deadly water,

  And the cruel heat,

  And the sickening, putrid food;

  And the smell of the trench just back of the tents

  Where the soldiers went to empty themselves;

  And there were the whores who followed us, full of


  And beastly acts between ourselves or alone,

  With bullying, hatred, degradation among us,

  And days of loathing and nights of fear

  To the hour of the charge through the steaming


  Following the flag,

  Till I fell with a scream, shot through the guts.

  Now there's a flag over me in Spoon River.

  A flag! A flag!

Uploaded byP. T.
Source of the quotation