Monday, November 06, 2006

The Poor Voter on Election Day

by John Greenleaf Whittier (1852)

The proudest now is but my peer,
The highest not more high;
To-day, of all the weary year,
A king of men am I.
To-day alike are great and small,
The nameless and the known
My palace is the people’s hall,
The ballot-box my throne!

Who serves to-day upon the list
Beside the served shall stand;
Alike the brown and wrinkled fist,
The gloved and dainty hand!
The rich is level with the poor,
The weak is strong to-day;
And sleekest broadcloth counts no more
Than homespun frock of gray.

To-day let pomp and vain pretence
My stubborn right abide;
I set a plain man’s common sense
Against the pedant’s pride.
To-day shall simple manhood try
The strength of gold and land
The wide world has not wealth to buy
The power in my right hand!

While there’s a grief to seek redress,
Or balance to adjust,
Where weighs our living manhood less
Than Mammon’s vilest dust, --
While there’s a right to need my vote
A wrong to sweep away,
Up! clouted knee and ragged coat!
A man’s a man to-day!


luisa said...


did you know on most petty traffic citations are forgiven in France on election day?

to sweeten the deal.

(of course, if you ran someone over in your car and killed them, that would not be forgiven.)

bigshoulders said...

Ca, c'est bien!
reason #231 for moving to France.