Anne Rutledge

Original Text: 
Edgar Lee Masters, Spoon River Anthology, illustrated by Oliver Herford (London: T. Werner Laurie, [1916]): 220. 8-NBI Masters New York Public Library
2The vibrations of deathless music:
4Out of me the forgiveness of millions toward millions,
5And the beneficent face of a nation
6Shining with justice and truth.
7I am Anne Rutledge who sleep beneath these weeds,
8Beloved in life of Abraham Lincoln,
9Wedded to him, not through union,
10But through separation.
11Bloom forever, O Republic,
12From the dust of my bosom!


1] Anne Rutledge (1803-35), of New Salem, Illinois, now buried in Peterburg's Oakland Cemetery. The love affair with Lincoln is unsubstantiated. Back to Line
3] From Abraham Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address, March 4, 1865, which closes: "With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations" (Bartleby Project (seen May 21, 2003). Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: