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60. Fiddler Jones

Posted by sprout333 on Monday, April 21, 2008

THE EARTH keeps some vibration going     
There in your heart, and that is you.     
And if the people find you can fiddle,     
Why, fiddle you must, for all your life.     
What do you see, a harvest of clover?            
Or a meadow to walk through to the river?     
The wind’s in the corn; you rub your hands     
For beeves hereafter ready for market;     
Or else you hear the rustle of skirts     
Like the girls when dancing at Little Grove.     
To Cooney Potter a pillar of dust     
Or whirling leaves meant ruinous drouth;     
They looked to me like Red-Head Sammy     
Stepping it off, to “Toor-a-Loor.”     
How could I till my forty acres     
Not to speak of getting more,     
With a medley of horns, bassoons and piccolos     
Stirred in my brain by crows and robins     
And the creak of a wind-mill—only these?     
And I never started to plow in my life     
That some one did not stop in the road     
And take me away to a dance or picnic.     
I ended up with forty acres;     
I ended up with a broken fiddle—     
And a broken laugh, and a thousand memories,     
And not a single regret.

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

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