The Unknown

Original Text: 
Edgar Lee Masters, Spoon River Anthology, illustrated by Oliver Herford (London: T. Werner Laurie, [1916]): 126. 8-NBI Masters New York Public Library
1Ye aspiring ones, listen to the story of the unknown
2Who lies here with no stone to mark the place.
3As a boy reckless and wanton,
4Wandering with gun in hand through the forest
6I shot a hawk perched on the top
7Of a dead tree.
8He fell with guttural cry
9At my feet, his wing broken.
10Then I put him in a cage
11Where he lived many days cawing angrily at me
12When I offered him food.
14For the soul of the hawk,
15That I may offer him the friendship
16Of one whom life wounded and caged.


5] A farmer who lived near the poet's grandparents. Back to Line
13] Hades: the classical underworld. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: