Posted by: W. E. Poplaski | November 4, 2008

POEM OF THE DAY: The Poor Voter on Election Day

by John Greenleaf Whittier (1807 – 1892).  


The Poor Voter on Election Day


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,                               5

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;                                  10

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             15

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.                                      20

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,                     25

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,                                           30

Up! clouted knee and ragged coat!

A man’s a man to-day!




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