Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, SPOON RIVER ANTHOLOGY: MRS. PURKAPILE, by EDGAR LEE MASTERS



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SPOON RIVER ANTHOLOGY: MRS. PURKAPILE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: He ran away and was gone for a year
Last Line: Of his marital vow and duty.
Subject(s): Unfaithfulness; Infidelity; Adultery; Inconstancy


HE ran away and was gone for a year.
When he came home he told me the silly story
Of being kidnapped by pirates on Lake Michigan
And kept in chains so he could not write me.
I pretended to believe it, though I knew very well
What he was doing, and that he met
The milliner, Mrs. Williams, now and then
When she went to the city to buy goods, as she said.
But a promise is a promise
And marriage is marriage,
And out of respect for my own character
I refused to be drawn into a divorce
By the scheme of a husband who had merely grown tired
Of his marital vow and duty.





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