Lucinda Matlock

Original Text: 
Edgar Lee Masters, Spoon River Anthology, illustrated by Oliver Herford (London: T. Werner Laurie, [1916]): 230. 8-NBI Masters New York Public Library
3One time we changed partners,
4Driving home in the moonlight of middle June,
5And then I found Davis.
7Enjoying, working, raising the twelve children,
8Eight of whom we lost
9Ere I had reached the age of sixty.
10I spun, I wove, I kept the house, I nursed the sick,
11I made the garden, and for holiday
12Rambled over the fields where sang the larks,
13And by Spoon River gathering many a shell,
14And many a flower and medicinal weed --
15Shouting to the wooded hills, singing to the green valleys.
16At ninety-six I had lived enough, that is all,
17And passed to a sweet repose.
18What is this I hear of sorrow and weariness,
19Anger, discontent and drooping hopes?
20Degenerate sons and daughters,
21Life is too strong for you --
22It takes life to love Life.


1] The poet's paternal grandmother (1814-1910), according to Masters' "The Genesis of Spoon River," The American Mercury 28 (Jan. 1933): 39. Back to Line
2] snap-out: perhaps "snap," "A U.S. party game in which one of the players chases another round a ring formed by the rest" (OED "snap," sb., 5f). Back to Line
6] Lucinda married Squire Davis Masters on March 6, 1834. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: