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Aaron Hatfield

 Better than granite, Spoon River,
Is the memory-picture you keep of me
Standing before the pioneer men and women
There at Concord Church on Communion day.
Speaking in broken voice of the peasant youth Of Galilee who went to the city And was killed by bankers and lawyers; My voice mingling with the June wind That blew over wheat fields from Atterbury; While the white stones in the burying ground Around the Church shimmered in the summer sun.
And there, though my own memories Were too great to bear, were you, O pioneers, With bowed heads breathing forth your sorrow For the sons killed in battle and the daughters And little children who vanished in life's morning, Or at the intolerable hour of noon.
But in those moments of tragic silence, When the wine and bread were passed, Came the reconciliation for us -- Us the ploughmen and the hewers of wood, Us the peasants, brothers of the peasant of Galilee -- To us came the Comforter And the consolation of tongues of flame!

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