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Abel Melveny

 I bought every kind of machine that's known --
Grinders, shellers, planters, mowers,
Mills and rakes and ploughs and threshers --
And all of them stood in the rain and sun,
Getting rusted, warped and battered,
For I had no sheds to store them in,
And no use for most of them.
And toward the last, when I thought it over, There by my window, growing clearer About myself, as my pulse slowed down, And looked at one of the mills I bought -- Which I didn't have the slightest need of, As things turned out, and I never ran -- A fine machine, once brightly varnished, And eager to do its work, Now with its paint washed off -- I saw myself as a good machine That Life had never used.

by Edgar Lee Masters
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