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      Edgar Lee Masters (1869-1950)

                      HOD PUTT

    HERE I lie close to the grave
    Of Old Bill Piersol,
    Who grew rich trading with the Indians, and who
    Afterwards took the bankrupt law
    And emerged from it richer than ever.
    Myself grown tired of toil and poverty
    And beholding how Old Bill and others grew in
    Robbed a traveler one night near Proctor's Grove,
    Killing him unwittingly while doing so,
    For the which I was tried and hanged.
    That was my way of going into bankruptcy.
    Now we who took the bankrupt law in our respective
    Sleep peacfully side by side.


The Spoon River Anthology poems originally appeared weekly in Reedy's Mirror beginning May 29, 1914. This poem can be found, for example, in:
  • Masters, Edgar Lee. Spoon River Anthology. New Edition with New Poems. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1916.