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Henry Phipps

 I was the Sunday school superintendent,
The dummy president of the wagon works
And the canning factory,
Acting for Thomas Rhodes and the banking clique;
My son the cashier of the bank,
Wedded to Rhodes' daughter,
My week day spent in making money,
My Sundays at church and in prayer.
In everything a cog in the wheel of things-as-they-are: Of money, master and man, made white With the paint of the Christian creed.
And then: The bank collapsed.
I stood and looked at the wrecked machine -- The wheels with blow-holes stopped with putty and painted; The rotten bolts, the broken rods; And only the hopper for souls fit to be used again In a new devourer of life, when newspapers, judges and money-magicians Build over again.
I was stripped to the bone, but I lay in the Rock of Ages, Seeing now through the game, no longer a dupe, And knowing "the upright shall dwell in the land But the years of the wicked shall be shortened.
" Then suddenly, Dr.
Meyers discovered A cancer in my liver.
I was not, after all, the particular care of God! Why, even thus standing on a peak Above the mists through which I had climbed, And ready for larger life in the world, Eternal forces Moved me on with a push.

by Edgar Lee Masters
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