Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, DOMESDAY BOOK: LOVERIDGE CHASE, by EDGAR LEE MASTERS



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DOMESDAY BOOK: LOVERIDGE CHASE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Here is the secret of the death of elenor
Last Line: Of elenor murray and their days at nice:
Subject(s): Death; Letters; Marriage; Dead, The; Weddings; Husbands; Wives


Here is the secret of the death of Elenor,
From what I learn of her, from what I know
In living, knowing women, I am clear
About this Elenor Murray. Give me power
To get the letters, power to give a bond
To indemnify the company, for you know
Letters belong to him who writes the letters;
And if the company is given bond
It will surrender them, and then you'll know
What man she loved, this Gregory Wenner or
Some other man, and if some other man,
Whether he caused her death.

The coroner
And Loveridge Chase sat in the coroner's office
And talked the matter over. And the coroner,
Who knew this Loveridge Chase, was wondering
Why Loveridge Chase had taken up the work
Of secret service, followed it, and asked,
"How did you come to give your brains to this,
Who could do other things?" And Loveridge said:
"A woman made me, I went round the world
As jackie once, was brought into this world
By a mother good and wise, but took from her,
My father, someone, sense of chivalry
Too noble for this world, a pity too,
Abused too much by women. I came back,
Was hired in a bank; had I gone on
By this time had been up in banking circles,
But something happened. You can guess, I think
It was a woman, was my wife Leone.
It matters nothing here, except I knew
This Elenor Murray through my wife. These two
Were schoolmates, even chums. I'll get these letters
If you commission me. The fact is this:
I think this Elenor Murray and Leone
Were kindred spirits, and it does me good
Now that I'm living thus without a wife
To ferret out this matter of Elenor Murray,
Perhaps this way, or somewhere on the way,
Find news of my Leone; what life she lives,
And where she is. I'm curious still, you see."
Then Coroner Merival, who had not heard
Of Elenor Murray's letters in New York
Before this talk of Loveridge Chase, who heard
This story and analysis of Leone
Mixed in with other talk, and got a light
On Elenor Murray, said: "I know your work,
Know you as well, have confidence in you,
Make ready to go, and bring the letters back."

And on the day that Loveridge Chase departs
To get the letters in New York, Bernard,
A veteran of Belleau, married that day
To Amy Whidden, on a lofty dune
At Millers, Indiana, with his bride --
Long quiet, tells her something of the war.
These soldiers cannot speak what they have lived.
But Elenor Murray helps him; for the talk
Of Elenor Murray runs the rounds, so many
Stations whence the talk is sent: -- the men
Or women who had known her, came in touch
Somehow with her. These newly wedded two
Go out to see blue water, yellow sand,
And watch the white caps pat the sky, and hear
The intermittent whispers of the waves.
And here Bernard, the soldier, tells his bride
Of Elenor Murray and their days at Nice:





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