In the Spoon River Anthology, each poem is an epitaph describing, retrospectively, the life of one of the deceased residents of a rural, small American town called Spoon River.
The poem entitled "Lillian Stewart" can be divided into three sections. The first section, comprising the first eight lines of the poem, describes how Lillian was born into a humble family and then moved, with her family and because of her "father's rise in the world," to a "mansion there on the hill." The poem doesn't explicitly state how the father rose so far as to be able to afford the mansion, but it does suggest that the mansion was perhaps more than the family could really afford. Indeed, the narrator, Lillian, says that her "father's fortune was little beside it."
In the second section of the poem, lines nine to sixteen, Lillian describes her husband, who seems to have been a rather cruel, loveless, and greedy man. The husband evidently married Lillian in large part because he assumed the mansion meant that she was wealthy, and that he, therefore, would have been the beneficiary of a considerable dowry. Upon discovering that Lillian was not wealthy, and that he had "married / A girl who was really poor," the husband began to taunt Lillian and accuse her of using the mansion as a "treacherous lure" to ensnare an unwitting man like himself.
In the third section of the poem, comprising the last six lines, Lillian describes the end of her life. Separated from her husband, she lived "like an old maid," looking after her father, "till (she) died."
Overall then this is a rather sad, melancholy poem. Lillian Thomas' life seemed to start well, with a proud mother and a father who "loved and watched" her, but her life then took a turn for the worse when she met her husband, who "vexed (her) life till (she) went back home." There was, however, a glimmer of happiness at the end of Lillian's life, as she was together again, at the end, with her loving father.