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By Edgar Lee Masters

Out of me unworthy and unknown

The vibrations of deathless music;

“With malice toward none, with charity for all.”

Out of me the forgiveness of millions toward millions,

And the beneficent face of a nation

Shining with justice and truth.

I am Anne Rutledge who sleep beneath these weeds,

Beloved in life of Abraham Lincoln,

Wedded to him, not through union,

But through separation.

Bloom forever, O Republic,

From the dust of my bosom!


Source: Spoon River Anthology (1916)

  • Living
  • Mythology & Folklore
  • Social Commentaries

Poet Bio

Edgar Lee Masters
The 1915 publication of Spoon River Anthology made Edgar Lee Masters famous by bringing into American poetry a scandalous subject matter and an innovative method: the secret lives and loves of a small town’s citizens, told in their own voices from beyond the grave. The book was a popular and critical triumph; nothing Masters published subsequently equaled its success.

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