— from Edgar Lee Masters’ “Spoon River Anthology”
YE aspiring ones, listen to the story of the unknown Who lies here with no stone to mark the place. As a boy reckless and wanton, Wandering with gun in hand through the forest Near the mansion of Aaron Hatfield, I shot a hawk perched on the top Of a dead tree. He fell with guttural cry At my feet, his wing broken. Then I put him in a cage Where he lived many days cawing angrily at me When I offered him food. Daily I search the realms of Hades For the soul of the hawk, That I may offer him the friendship Of one whom life wounded and caged.