'Let Glory's sons manipulate
The tiller of the Ship of State.
Be mine the humble, useful toil
To work the tiller of the soil.'

by Ambrose Bierce.

Epigram On Politics

IN Politics if thou would'st mix,
And mean thy fortunes be;
Bear this in mind, be deaf and blind,
Let great folk hear and see.

by Robert Burns.

Let slaves and subjects with unvaried psalms
Before their sovereign execute salaams;
The freeman scorns one idol to adore
Tom, Dick and Harry and himself are four.

by Ambrose Bierce.

The True Liberal

The truest Liberal is he
Who sees the man in each degree,
Who merit in a churl can prize,
And baseness in an earl despise,
Yet censures baseness in a churl,
And dares find merit in an earl.

by Robert Fuller Murray.

That land full surely hastens to its end
Where public sycophants in homage bend
The populace to flatter, and repeat
The doubled echoes of its loud conceit.
Lowly their attitude but high their aim,
They creep to eminence through paths of shame,
Till, fixed securely in the seats of pow'r,
The dupes they flattered they at last devour.

by Ambrose Bierce.

HOW can I, that girl standing there,
My attention fix
On Roman or on Russian
Or on Spanish politics?
Yet here's a travelled man that knows
What he talks about,
And there's a politician
That has read and thought,
And maybe what they say is true
Of war and war's alarms,
But O that I were young again
And held her in my arms!

by William Butler Yeats.

We move, the wheel must always move,
Nor always on the plain,
And if we move to such a goal
As wisdom hopes to gain,
Then you that drive, and know your Craft.
Will firmly hold the rein,
Nor lend an ear to random cried,
Or you may drive in vain,
For some cry ‘Quick’ and some cry ‘Slow’
But, while the hills remain,
Up hill ‘Too-slow’ will need the whip,
Down hill ‘Too-quick’ the chain.

by Alfred Lord Tennyson.

'The flag goes with the foul landscape,
and our jargon muffles the drum.'
In the great centers we'll nurture
the most cynical prostitution.
We'll massacre logical revolts.

In spicy and drenched lands!--
at the service of the most monstrous
exploitations, industrial or military.
'Farewell here, no matter where.

Conscripts of good will,
ours will be a ferocious philosophy;
ignorant as to science, rabid for comfort;
and let the rest of the world croak.
This is the real advance. Marching orders, let's go!'

by Arthur Rimbaud.

Impromptu On Dumourier's Desertion Of The French Republican Army

YOU'RE welcome to Despots, Dumourier;
You're welcome to Despots, Dumourier:
How does Dampiere do?
Ay, and Bournonville too?
Why did they not come along with you, Dumourier?


I will fight France with you, Dumourier;
I will fight France with you, Dumourier;
I will fight France with you,
I will take my chance with you;
By my soul, I'll dance with you, Dumourier.


Then let us fight about, Dumourier;
Then let us fight about, Dumourier;
Then let us fight about,
Till Freedom's spark be out,
Then we'll be d—d, no doubt, Dumourier.

by Robert Burns.

To A Republican Friend

God knows it, I am with you. If to prize
Those virtues, priz'd and practis'd by too few,
But priz'd, but lov'd, but eminent in you,
Man's fundamental life: if to despise
The barren optimistic sophistries
Of comfortable moles, whom what they do
Teaches the limit of the just and true--
And for such doing have no need of eyes:
If sadness at teh long heart-wasting show
Wherein earth's great ones are disquieted:
If thoughts, not idle, while before me flow
The armies of the homeless and unfed:--
If these are yours, if this is what you are,
Then am I yours, and what you feel, I share.

by Matthew Arnold.

Sonnet 08 - What Can I Give Thee Back, O Liberal

VIII

What can I give thee back, O liberal
And princely giver, who hast brought the gold
And purple of thine heart, unstained, untold,
And laid them on the outside of the-wall
For such as I to take or leave withal,
In unexpected largesse? am I cold,
Ungrateful, that for these most manifold
High gifts, I render nothing back at all?
Not so; not cold,—but very poor instead.
Ask God who knows. For frequent tears have run
The colors from my life, and left so dead
And pale a stuff, it were not fitly done
To give the same as pillow to thy head.
Go farther! let it serve to trample on.

by Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

Why I Am A Liberal

"Why?" Because all I haply can and do,
All that I am now, all I hope to be,--
Whence comes it save from fortune setting free
Body and soul the purpose to pursue,
God traced for both? If fetters, not a few,
Of prejudice, convention, fall from me,
These shall I bid men--each in his degree
Also God-guided--bear, and gayly, too?

But little do or can the best of us:
That little is achieved through Liberty.
Who, then, dares hold, emancipated thus,
His fellow shall continue bound? Not I,
Who live, love, labour freely, nor discuss
A brother's right to freedom. That is "Why."

by Robert Browning.

Feelings Of A Republican On The Fall Of Bonaparte

I hated thee, fallen tyrant! I did groan
To think that a most unambitious slave,
Like thou, shouldst dance and revel on the grave
Of Liberty. Thou mightst have built thy throne
Where it had stood even now: thou didst prefer
A frail and bloody pomp which Time has swept
In fragments towards Oblivion. Massacre,
For this I prayed, would on thy sleep have crept,
Treason and Slavery, Rapine, Fear, and Lust,
And stifled thee, their minister. I know
Too late, since thou and France are in the dust,
That Virtue owns a more eternal foe
Than Force or Fraud: old Custom, legal Crime,
And bloody Faith the foulest birth of Time.

by Percy Bysshe Shelley.

Aunt Chloe's Politics

Of course, I don't know very much
About these politics,
But I think that some who run 'em,
Do mighty ugly tricks.

I've seen 'em honey-fugle round,
And talk so awful sweet,
That you'd think them full of kindness
As an egg is full of meat.

Now I don't believe in looking
Honest people in the face,
And saying when you're doing wrong,
That 'I haven't sold my race.'

When we want to school our children,
If the money isn't there,
Whether black or white have took it,
The loss we all must share.

And this buying up each other
Is something worse than mean,
Though I thinks a heap of voting,
I go for voting clean.

by Frances Ellen Watkins Harper.

Gold and iron are good
To buy iron and gold;
All earth's fleece and food
For their like are sold.
Hinted Merlin wise,
Proved Napoleon great,
Nor kind nor coinage buys
Aught above its rate.
Fear, Craft, and Avarice
Cannot rear a State.
Out of dust to build
What is more than dust,--
Walls Amphion piled
Phoebus stablish must.
When the Muses nine
When the Virtues meet,
Find to their design
An Atlantic seat,
By green orchard boughs
Fended from the heat,
Where the statesman ploughs
Furrow for the wheat,--
When the Church is social worth,
When the state-house is the hearth,
Then the perfect State is come,
The republican at home.

by Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Carven in leathern mask or brazen face,
Were I time's sculptor, I would set this man.
Retreating from the truth, his hawk-eyes scan
The platforms of all public thought for place.
There wriggling with insinuating grace,
He takes poor hope and effort by the hand,
And flatters with half-truths and accents bland,
Till even zeal and earnest love grow base.

Knowing no right, save power's grim right-of-way;
No nobleness, save life's ignoble praise;
No future, save this sordid day to day;
He is the curse of these material days:
Juggling with mighty wrongs and mightier lies,
This worshipper of Dagon and his flies!

by William Wilfred Campbell.

To A Little Maid - By A Politician

Come with me, little maid,
Nay, shrink not, thus afraid -
I'll harm thee not!
Fly not, my love, from me -
I have a home for thee -
A fairy grot,
Where mortal eye
Can rarely pry,
There shall thy dwelling be!

List to me, while I tell
The pleasures of that cell,
Oh, little maid!
What though its couch be rude,
Homely the only food
Within its shade?
No thought of care
Can enter there,
No vulgar swain intrude!

Come with me, little maid,
Come to the rocky shade
I love to sing;
Live with us, maiden rare -
Come, for we "want" thee there,
Thou elfin thing,
To work thy spell,
In some cool cell
In stately Pentonville!

by William Schwenck Gilbert.

Libertatis Sacra Fames

ALBEIT nurtured in democracy,
And liking best that state republican
Where every man is Kinglike and no man
Is crowned above his fellows, yet I see,
Spite of this modern fret for Liberty,
Better the rule of One, whom all obey,
Than to let clamorous demagogues betray
Our freedom with the kiss of anarchy.
Wherefore I love them not whose hands profane
Plant the red flag upon the piled-up street
For no right cause, beneath whose ignorant reign
Arts, Culture, Reverence, Honour, all things fade,
Save Treason and the dagger of her trade,
And Murder with his silent bloody feet.

by Oscar Wilde.

I Was Looking A Long While


I WAS looking a long while for a clue to the history of the past for
myself, and for these chants--and now I have found it;
It is not in those paged fables in the libraries, (them I neither
accept nor reject;)
It is no more in the legends than in all else;
It is in the present--it is this earth to-day;
It is in Democracy--(the purport and aim of all the past;)
It is the life of one man or one woman to-day--the average man of
to-day;
It is in languages, social customs, literatures, arts;
It is in the broad show of artificial things, ships, machinery,
politics, creeds, modern improvements, and the interchange of
nations,
All for the average man of to-day.

by Walt Whitman.

The Republican Genius Of Europe

Emporers and kings! in vain you strive
Your torments to conceal--
The age is come that shakes your thrones,
Tramples in dust despotic crowns,
And bids the sceptre fail.

In western worlds the flame began:
From thence to France it flew--
Through Europe, now, it takes its way,
Beams an insufferable day,
And lays all tyrants low.

Genius fo France! pursue the chace
Till Reason's laws restore
Man to be Man, in every clime;--
That Being, active, great, sublime
Debas'd in dust no more.

In dreadful pomp he takes his way
O'er ruin'd crowns, demolish'd thrones--
Pale tyrants shrink before his blaze--
Round him terrific lightenings play--
With eyes of fire, he looks then through,
Crushes the vile despotic crew,
And Pride in ruin lays.

by Philip Freneau.

Politics For Tots: Lesson 2~ &Quot;The Party&Quot;

Now, children, in this Lesson Two,
Briefly we'll make some mention
Of party, just in case that you
Some day, with the intention
Of furthering ambitions grand,
May seek to serve your native land.

You join a Party, first of all
This move is most essential.
Your Private Views you must recall,
They're quite unconsequential;
For if you'd be a Party Man
You must cleave to the Party Plan.

Either you must be Black or White;
Browns, Drabs and Greys don't matter.
If you choose White, White's always right,
If Black, then with the latter
Rests all Wisdom in the Land.
You've got to Barrack for your Brand.

But, children, there's a chance you may
With Obstinate Persistence
Incline to Fawn, or Cream or Grey,
Then you can't Make the Distance.
You'll keep your Soul; but I'm afraid
You'll have to learn some Nicer Trade.

by Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis.

EAGLE of Austerlitz! where were thy wings
When far away upon a barbarous strand,
In fight unequal, by an obscure hand,
Fell the last scion of thy brood of Kings!

Poor boy! thou wilt not flaunt thy cloak of red,
Nor ride in state through Paris in the van
Of thy returning legions, but instead
Thy mother France, free and republican,

Shall on thy dead and crownless forehead place
The better laurels of a soldier's crown,
That not dishonoured should thy soul go down
To tell the mighty Sire of thy race

That France hath kissed the mouth of Liberty,
And found it sweeter than his honied bees,
And that the giant wave Democracy
Breaks on the shores where Kings lay crouched at ease.

by Oscar Wilde.

Republican Pioneers

We're marching along, we're gath'ring strong'
We place on our right reliance,
We fling in the air, for all who care,
Our first loud notes of defiance!
We fling in the air,
For all who care,
Our first loud notes of defiance!

Laugh long and loud, you toady crowd,
At the men you call benighted,
In spite of your sneers, we are pioneers
Of "Australian States United"!
In spite of your sneers, We are pioneers
Of "Australian States United"!

Not long we'll stand as an outlaw band,
And be in our country lonely,
For soon to the sky shall ring our cry,
Our cry of "Australia only"!
For soon to the sky
Shall mount our cry,
Our cry of "Australia only"!

And we'll sleep sound in Australian ground,
'Neath the blue-cross flag star lighted,
When it freely waves o'er the grass-grown graves
Of the pioneers united!
When it floats and veers
O'er the pioneers
Of "Australian States United"!

by Henry Lawson.

To A Politician

There was a moment when of you
A splendid hope I had to tell,
Believing 'Here is one man who
Will serve our waiting country well.'

I saw you sedulous and keen,
I heard the burning words you spoke.
It seemed that you were hard and clean,
And rapier sharp your every stroke.

Then came success, and in a night
An impish thing you stood apart,
All empty-handed for the fight,
With worse, alas! an empty heart.

Success had spoiled you, said your friends,
It was not so, for naught was there
To spoil but means to petty ends.
At last men saw you bleak and bare.

In those who give you grudging aid
These days, may we the spirits see
Who for the love of men would raid
The strongholds of iniquity?

Are these the heroes high and true,
Who, seeing right with honest eyes,
Will risk their all in putting through
Democracy's stern Enterprise?

You had no wealth of love. You failed
For that. Your heart may never cling
To men upon their crosses nailed,
To brothers sadly travailing.

by Edward George Dyson.

Souvenirs Of Democracy


THE business man, the acquirer vast,
After assiduous years, surveying results, preparing for departure,
Devises houses and lands to his children--bequeaths stocks, goods--
funds for a school or hospital,
Leaves money to certain companions to buy tokens, souvenirs of gems
and gold;
Parceling out with care--And then, to prevent all cavil,
His name to his testament formally signs.

But I, my life surveying,
With nothing to show, to devise, from its idle years,
Nor houses, nor lands--nor tokens of gems or gold for my friends,
Only these Souvenirs of Democracy--In them--in all my songs--behind
me leaving, 10
To You, who ever you are, (bathing, leavening this leaf especially
with my breath--pressing on it a moment with my own hands;
--Here! feel how the pulse beats in my wrists!--how my heart's-blood
is swelling, contracting!)
I will You, in all, Myself, with promise to never desert you,
To which I sign my name.

by Walt Whitman.

You, who are met to remember
Kentucky and give her praise;
Who have warmed your hearts at the ember
Of her love for many days!

Be faithful to your mother,
However your ways may run,
And, holding one to the other,
Prove worthy to be her sons.

Worthy of her who brought you;
Worthy in dream and deed:
Worthy her love that taught you,
And holds your work in heed:

Your work she weighs and watches,
Giving it praise and blame,
As to her heart she catches,
Or sets aside in shame.

One with her heart's devotion,
One with her soul's firm will,
She holds to the oldtime notion
Of what is good, what ill:

And still in unspoiled beauty,
With all her pioneer pride,
She keeps to the path of duty,
And never turns aside.

She dons no new attire
Of modern modes and tricks,
And stands for something higher
Than merely politics:

For much the world must think on,
For dreams as well as deeds;
For men, like Clay and Lincoln,
And words the whole world reads.

Not for her manners gracious,
Nor works, nor courage of
Convictions, proud, audacious,
Does she compel our love,

But for her heart's one passion,
Old as democracy,
That holds to the ancient fashion
Of hospitality.

by Madison Julius Cawein.

Woman In Politics

What, madam, run for School Director? You?
And want my vote and influence? Well, well,
That beats me! Gad! where _are_ we drifting to?
In all my life I never have heard tell
Of such sublime presumption, and I smell
A nigger in the fence! Excuse me, madam;
We statesmen sometimes speak like the old Adam.

But now you mention it-well, well, who knows?
We might, that's certain, give the sex a show.
I have a cousin-teacher. I suppose
If I stand in and you 're elected-no?
You'll make no bargains? That's a pretty go!
But understand that school administration
Belongs to Politics, not Education.

We'll pass the teacher deal; but it were wise
To understand each other at the start.
You know my business-books and school supplies;
You'd hardly, if elected, have the heart
Some small advantage to deny me-part
Of all my profits to be yours. What? Stealing?
Please don't express yourself with so much feeling.

You pain me, truly. Now one question more.
Suppose a fair young man should ask a place
As teacher-would you (pardon) shut the door
Of the Department in his handsome face
Until-I know not how to put the case
Would you extort a kiss to pay your favor?
Good Lord! you laugh? I thought the matter graver.

Well, well, we can't do business, I suspect:
A woman has no head for useful tricks.
My profitable offers you reject
And will not promise anything to fix
The opposition. That's not politics.
Good morning. Stay-I'm chaffing you, conceitedly.
Madam, I mean to vote for you-repeatedly.

by Ambrose Bierce.

The Great Democracy

From ocean unto ocean our noble land is fair,

A hundred million freemen's homes await their owners
there.

Then fling the tidings broadcast, the striving world among,
Till those who kneel to despots are to independence stung ;
Till those who work in bondage beneath the tyrant's heel,
Will in th^ir hearts the springing tide of hope and triumph feel ;
Till people who have burst their chains, determined to be free,
By hundred thousands come to join the Great Democracy.

A home, a home for millions ! Behold these millions

come
No blast of brazen trumpet, no crash of warlike drum ;


They come with plowshares in their hands, their faces

bright and glad

An army mightier by far than monarch ever had.
Beneath their free and swinging tread the thrones of

kingdoms crack :
Kings, czars and kaisers vainly try to keep these millions

back ;

They march in time to music, an anthem of the free,
The chorus rolls to Heaven high, ' The Great Democracy.'

Ye inland oceans feel the ring ; ye forests chant and sing ;
Ye prairies clap your hands with joy, Democracy is king !
Fling open wide the golden gates, build fires along the

coast,
And welcome in with mirth and song the fast advancing

host.

Lift up your heads, ye mountains, in all your noble pride :
Make ready to receive them, ye prairies green and wide ;
They come as strong as oceans, resistless as the sea,
To help to build our nation new, the Great Democracy.

by Robert Kirkland Kernighan.

Oh! this is a joyful dirge, my friends, and this is a hymn of praise;
And this is a clamour of Victory, and a pæan of Ancient Days.
It isn’t a Yelp of the Battlefield; nor a Howl of the Bounding Wave,
But an ode to the Things that the War has Killed, and a lay of the Festive Grave.
’Tis a triolet of the Tomb, you bet, and a whoop because of Despair,
And it’s sung as I stand on my hoary head and wave my legs in the air!
Oh! I dance on the grave of the Suffragette (I dance on my hands and dome),
And the Sanctity-of-the-Marriage-Tie and the Breaking-Up-of-the-Home.
And I dance on the grave of the weird White-Slave that died when the war began;
And Better-Protection-for-Women-and-Girls, and Men-Made-Laws-for-Man!

Oh, I dance on the Liberal Lady’s grave and the Labour Woman’s, too;
And the grave of the Female lie and shriek, with a dance that is wild and new.
And my only regret in this song-a-let as I dance over dale and hill,
Is the Yarn-of-the-Wife and the Tale-of-the-Girl that never a war can kill.

Oh, I dance on the grave of the want-ter-write, and I dance on the Tomb of the Sneer,
And poet-and-author-and-critic, too, who used to be great round here.
But “Old Mother Often” (“Mother of Ten”) and “Parent” escaped from the grave—
And “Pro Bono Publico” liveth again, as “Victis,” or “Honour the Brave.”

Oh, lightly I danced upon Politics’ grave where the Friend of the Candidate slept,
And over the Female Political Devil, oh wildly I bounded and leapt.
But this dance shall be nothing compared with the dance of the spook of the writer who sings
On the grave of the bard and the Bulletin’s grave, out there at the Finish of Things!

by Henry Lawson.

On Clergymen Preaching Politics

Indeed, Sir Peter, I could wish, I own,
That parsons would let politics alone;
Plead, if they will, the customary plea,
For such like talk, when o'er the dish of tea:
But when they tease us with it from the pulpit,
I own, Sir Peter, that I cannot help it.

If on their rules a justice should intrench,
And preach, suppose a sermon, from the bench,
Would you not think your brother magistrate
Was a little touched in his hinder pate?
Now which iw worse, Sir Peter, on the total
The lay vagary, or the sacredotal?

In ancient times, when preachers preached indeed
Their sermons, ere the learned learnt to read,
Another spirit, and another life,
Shut the church doors against all party strife:
Since then, how often heard, from sacred rostrums,
The lifeless din of Whig and Tory nostrums!

'Tis wrong, Sir Peter, I insist upon't;
To common sense 'tis plainly an affront:
The parson leaves the Christian in a lurch,
Whene'er he brings his politics to church;
His cant, on either side, if he calls preaching,
The man's wrong-headed, and his brains want bleaching.

Recall the time from conquering William's reign,
And guess the fruits of such a preaching vein:
How oft its nonsense must have veered about,
Just as the politics were in, or out:
The pulput governed by no gospel data,
But new success still mending old errata.

Were I a king (God bless me) I should hate
My chaplains meddling with affairs of state;
Nor would my subjects, I should think, be fond,
Whenever theirs the Bible went beyond.
How well, methinks, we both should live together,
If these good folks would keep within their tether!

by John Byrom.

As I Walk These Broad, Majestic Days


AS I walk these broad, majestic days of peace,
(For the war, the struggle of blood finish'd, wherein, O terrific
Ideal!
Against vast odds, having gloriously won,
Now thou stridest on--yet perhaps in time toward denser wars,
Perhaps to engage in time in still more dreadful contests, dangers,
Longer campaigns and crises, labors beyond all others;
--As I walk solitary, unattended,
Around me I hear that eclat of the world--politics, produce,
The announcements of recognized things--science,
The approved growth of cities, and the spread of inventions. 10

I see the ships, (they will last a few years,)
The vast factories, with their foremen and workmen,
And here the indorsement of all, and do not object to it.

But I too announce solid things;
Science, ships, politics, cities, factories, are not nothing--I watch
them,
Like a grand procession, to music of distant bugles, pouring,
triumphantly moving--and grander heaving in sight;
They stand for realities--all is as it should be.

Then my realities;
What else is so real as mine?
Libertad, and the divine average--Freedom to every slave on the face
of the earth, 20
The rapt promises and luminé of seers--the spiritual world--these
centuries lasting songs,
And our visions, the visions of poets, the most solid announcements
of any.

For we support all, fuse all,
After the rest is done and gone, we remain;
There is no final reliance but upon us;
Democracy rests finally upon us (I, my brethren, begin it,)
And our visions sweep through eternity.

by Walt Whitman.

A Different Route

Say you have some great objective.
Very well. Be calm, reflective;
Make no vulgar show of vigor; 'tisn't good.
Do not rush the thing directly;
But approach it circumspectly,
As a gentlemanly politician should.
Though certain consequences hinge upon the laws you make,
Your prestige in high politics rests with the road you take.


For the common sort of fellows,
With enthusiastic bellows,
Rush about and shout their schemes in ev'ry ear;
In their shirt-sleeves, toiling, fretting,
And most vulgarly a-sweating,
Quite without a thought or care how they appear.
And if they do arrive at things a trifle in advance
Their strenuous endeavors go to prove their ignorance.


Have a care for your appearance
If you claim the least adherence
To the genteel game of politics as played
By right-thinking politicians,
Who 'consider their positions'
Once a week, while common business is delayed.
And shun, O, shun that fearsome fellow eager for a spurt,
And the man who, metaphorically, labors in his shirt.


What though others rush before you?
What though busy folk ignore you?
Draw your gloves on carefully and take your stick.
Having chosen your direction,
Then proceed, with circumspection,
Stepping out with dignity - but not too quick.
If mere workers are before you, that is what you must expect;
But reflect, with satisfaction, that your route is more select.


Then, pray, have no hesitation
Should you find your destination
Is the same as that of him that humps the load
In declaring that your action
Gives you perfect satisfaction,
As you reached the place by quite another road.
Ignore his paltry claim to being first - such was his whim;
But emphasise the fact that you disdained to follow him.

by Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis.

The Friend Of Humanity, And The Knife-Grinder

FRIEND OF HUMANITY.

"Needy Knife-grinder! whether are you going?
Rough is the road, your wheel is out of order--
Bleak blows the Blast;--your hat has got a hole in't,
So have your breeches!


"Weary Knife-grinder! little think the proud ones
Who in their coaches roll along the turnpike-
-road, what hard work 'tis crying all day, 'Knives and
'Scissars to grind O!'


"Tell me Knife-grinder, how came you to grind knives?
Did some rich man tyrannically use you?
Was it the squire? or parson of the parish;
Or the attorney?


"Was it the squire, for killing of his game? or
Covetous parson, for his tithes distraining?
Or roguish lawyer, made you lose your little
All in a lawsuit?


"(Have you not read the Rights of Man, by Tom Paine?)
Drops of compassion tremble on my eyelids,
Ready to fall, as soon as you have told your
Pitiful story."


KNIFE-GRINDER.


"Story! God bless you! I have none to tell, Sir,
Only last night a-drinking at the Chequers,
This poor old hat and breeches, as you see, were
Torn in a scuffle.


"Constables came up for to take me into
Custody; they took me before the justice;
Justice Oldmixon put me in the parish-
stocks for a vagrant.


"I should be glad to drink your Honor's health in
A pot of beer, if you will give me sixpence;
But for my part, I never love to meddle
With Politics, Sir."


FRIEND OF HUMANITY.


"I give thee sixpence! I will see thee damn'd first--
Wretch! whom no sense of wrongs can rouse to vengeance--
Sordid, unfeeling, reprobate, degraded,
Spiritless outcast!"


Kicks the Knife-grinder, overturns his wheel, and exit in a transport of Republican enthusiasm and universal philanthropy.

by John Hookham Frere.

Art And Politics

'Good servant Mollberg, what's happened to thee,
Whom without coat and hatless I see?
Bloody thy mouth--and thou'rt lacking a tooth!
Where have you been, brother?--tell me the truth.'
'At Rostock, good sir,
Did the trouble occur.
Over me and my harp
An argument sharp
Arose, touching my playing--pling plingeli plang;
And a bow-legged cobbler coming along
Struck me in the mouth--pling plingeli plang.

'I sat there and played--no carouse could one see--
The Polish Queen's Polka--G-major the key:
The best kind of people were gathered around,
And each drank his schoppen 'down to the ground.'
I don't know just how
Began freshly the row,
But some one from my head
Knocked my hat, and thus said:
'What is Poland to thee?'--Pling plingeli plang--
'Play us no polka!' Another one sang:
'Now silent be!'--Pling plingeli plang.

'Hear, my Maecenas, what still came to pass.
As I sat there in quiet, enjoying my glass,
On Poland's condition the silence I broke:
'Know ye, good people,' aloud thus I spoke,
'That all monarchs I
On this earth do defy
My harp to prevent
From giving song vent
Throughout all this land--pling plingeli plang!
Did only a single string to it hang,
I'd play a polka--pling plingeli plang!'

'There sat in the corner a sergeant old,
Two notaries and a dragoon bold,
Who cried 'Down with him! The cobbler is right!
Poland earns the meeds of her evil might!'
From behind the stove came
An old squint-eyed dame,
And flung at the harp
Glass broken and sharp;
But the cobbler--pling plingeli plang--
Made a terrible hole in my neck--that long!
There hast thou the story--pling plingeli plang.

'O righteous world! Now I ask of thee
If I suffered not wrongly?' 'Why, certainly!'
'Was I not innocent?' 'Bless you, most sure!'
'The harp rent asunder, my nose torn and sore,
Twas hard treatment, I trow!
Now no better I know
Than to go through the land
With my harp in my hand,
Play for Bacchus and Venus--kling klang--
With masters best that e'er played or sang;
Attend me, Apollo!--pling plingeli plang.'

by Carl Michael Bellman.

In The Doldrums

Friends!
Have you, too, noticed that calm which descends
Upon affairs today?
Search as we may,
The papers have few things indeed to say
Of even world affairs, and, as to local,
Why, they are hardly vocal.
They even lack news of diverting crimes.
These be dull times.

Even the seething world of politics
Where factions mix,
And cause, most days, at least some mild commotion,
Seem like a placid ocean -
Like some blue tropic sea, peaceful and calm.
Floored with pink coral, fringed by wavy palm,
Where all is gentleness and holy calm...
Talking of topics, even Mister Hughes
Seems, in these days, steadfastly to refuse
To air his views.
Nay, he will not
Even refer to Mister Watt.
Eh, he is far too mild.
And, friends, I fear me that we are beguiled
By this strange calm, this seeming peace, this bliss.
My friends, I - don't - like - this!
For
In the not too greatly distant yore
I've seen it all before.

And I, my friends,
Know well what it portends.
The silent politicians, friends, are scheming
While we are dozing, dreaming.
Seeming to rest from labour, they are busy
Thinking until their mighty brains grow dizzy
For why, my friends, elections darkly loom
Large in the middle-distance, and gaunt Doom
Looks down upon them, poised to spring like winking
Unless they do some stern and solid thinking . . .

And does the politician think these days of us,
Who seem so precious to him when the fuss
And fret of mad campaigning wring his withers
What time he blathers
Loud of intelligent electors? Yes;
I must confess
He thinks of us; but never quite
As sentient beings yearning for the light;
For, friends, he dotes
Ever on votes.
And, truly, as it was in the beginning
(No matter which side happens to be winning)
'Tis now, and ever will be just the same.
And we shall still be mere pawns in the game . . .

Voters! For goodness sake,
Awake!
It's up to you
To do
Some really serious thinking too.
I don't care on which side you mean to vote
Peel off the coat!
(Indeed, indeed,
You may do wonders if you will take heed)
Or else - I say it with reluctant lips
Remain, as hitherto, just poker chips.

by Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis.

The Friend Of Humanity And The Knife-Grinder

Friend of Humanity

1'Needy Knife-grinder! whither are you going?
2Rough is the road, your wheel is out of order-
3Bleak blows the blast;-your hat has got a hole in't,
4 So have your breeches!

5'Weary Knife-grinder! little think the proud ones,
6Who in their coaches roll along the turnpike{\-}
7-road, what hard work 'tis crying all day 'knives and
8 'scissors to grind O!'

9'Tell me, Knife-grinder, how you came to grind knives?
10Did some rich man tyranically use you?
11Was it the squire? or parson of the parish?
12 Or the attorney?

13'Was it the squire, for the killing of his game? or
14Covetous parson, for his tithes distraining?
15Or roguish lawyer, made you lose your little
16 All in a lawsuit?

17'(Have you not read the Rights of Man, by Tom Paine?)
18Drops of compassion tremble on my eyelids,
19Ready to fall, as soon as you have told your
20 Pitiful story.'

Knife-grinder

21'Story! God bless you! I have none to tell, sir,
22Only last night a-drinking at the Chequers,
23This poor old hat and breeches, as you see, were
24 Torn in a scuffle.

25'Constables came up for to take me into
26Custody; they took me before the justice;
27Justice Oldmixon put me in the parish{\-}
28 Stocks for a vagrant.

29'I should be glad to drink your Honour's health in
30A pot of beer, if you will give me sixpence;
31But for my part, I never love to meddle
32 With politics, sir.'

Friend of Humanity

33'I give thee sixpence! I will see thee damn'd first-
34Wretch! whom no sense of wrongs can rouse to vengeance-
35Sordid, unfeeling, reprobate, degraded,
36 Spiritless outcast!'

[Kicks the Knife-grinder, overturns his wheel, and exit in a transport of Republican enthusiasm and universal philanthropy.

by George Canning.

BEARER of Freedom's holy light,
Breaker of Slavery's chain and rod,
The foe of all which pains the sight,
Or wounds the generous ear of God!
Beautiful yet thy temples rise,
Though there profaning gifts are thrown;
And fires unkindled of the skies
Are glaring round thy altar-stone.
Still sacred, though thy name be breathed
By those whose hearts thy truth deride;
And garlands, plucked from thee, are wreathed
Around the haughty brows of Pride.
Oh, ideal of my boyhood's time!
The faith in which my father stood,
Even when the sons of Lust and Crime
Had stained thy peaceful courts with blood!
Still to those courts my footsteps turn,
For through the mists which darken there,
I see the flame of Freedom burn, —
The Kebla of the patriot's prayer!
The generous feeling, pure and warm,
Which owns the right of all divine;
The pitying heart, the helping arm,
The prompt self-sacrifice, are thine.
Beneath thy broad, impartial eye,
How fade the lines of caste and birth!
How equal in their suffering lie
The groaning multides of earth!
Still to a stricken brother true,
Whatever clime hath nurtured him;
As stooped to heal the wounded Jew
The worshipper of Gerizim.
By misery unrepelled, unawed
By pomp or power, thou seest a Man
In prince or peasant, slave or lord,
Pale priest, or swarthy artisan.
Through all disguise, form, place, or name,
Beneath the flaunting robes of sin,
Through poverty and squalid shame,
Thou lookest on the man within.
On man, as man, retaining yet,
Howe'er debased, and soiled, and dim,
The crown upon his forehead set,
The immortal gift of God to him.
And there is reverence in thy look;
For that frail form which mortals wear
The Spirit of the Holiest took,
And veiled His perfect brightness there.
Not from the shallow babbling fount
Of vain philosophy thou art;
He who of old on Syria's Mount
Thrilled, warmed, by turns, the listener's heart,
In holy words which cannot die,
In thoughts which angels leaned to know,
Proclaimed thy message from on high,
Thy mission to a world of woe.
That voice's echo hath not died!
From the blue lake of Galilee,
And Tabor's lonely mountain-side,
It calls a struggling world to thee.
Thy name and watchword o'er this land
I hear in every breeze that stirs,
And round a thousand altars stand
Thy banded party worshippers.
Not to these altars of a day,
At party's call, my gift I bring;
But on thy olden shrine I lay
A freeman's dearest offering:
The voiceless utterance of his will, —
His pledge to Freedom and to Truth,
That manhood's heart remembers still
The homage of his generous youth.

by John Greenleaf Whittier.

The Liberal Constitution

Jack Sprat would eat no fat,
His wife would eat no lean,
And so, betwixt them both, you see,
They licked the platter clean.
Old nursery rhyme

Gentlemen, I'd like to mention, with your very kind attention,
One important point I wish you all to know;
We've a policy extensive and extremely comprehensive -
Me an' Joe.
As a fact, 'tis all-embracing, just to put the matter flat;
Therefore, where's the need to mention that we favor 'this' or 'that'?


Quite unlike the other party, we're so vigorous and hearty,
We can thrive on any diet, high or low.
And, if you decide to follow us, just notice what we swallow
Me an' Joe.
It is hardly worth while mentioning what Joseph can't digest,
And, when he has picked his dishes, I, with ease, absorb the rest.


While other folks are musing o'er the menu, picking, choosing,
In a fashion most fastidious and slow,
At embracing or surrounding - all the meal we are astounding
Me an' Joe.
As an economic method it admits no ifs or buts;
For we clean up all the courses from the oysters to the nuts.


Legislative indigestion in regard to any question
Marks the party whose vitality is low;
Weaklings in the estimation of that sturdy combination,
Me an' Joe.
For the food that is politically poisonous to me
Joe takes with relish, while - well, vice versa don't you see.


I can take, with little trouble, foods political that double
Joseph up, upon the floor, in direst woe;
But they all declare, who've seen us, we're omnivorous between us
Me an' Joe.
Joseph's fond of food imported with a dash of Tory sauce;
I love fare more democratic and Australian grown, of course.


Thus, observe, in fiscal matters we contrive to clean the platters.
'Tis surprising how we make the viands go!
With our dual constitution we can do great execution
Me an' Joe.
And the others of our party have such varied appetites
That there's really very little left to feed the cat o' nights.


For, the others at the table, watching us, are quickly able
To elect the food they fancy most - although
Some they find it hard to swallow in their brave attempts to follow
Me an' Joe.
Then a little Argus Syrup or some 'Mother 'Eralds Pills'
Are most useful in averting any gastronomic ills.


Gentlemen, 'twould only weary you to state in manner dreary,
That we favor 'this,' or 'that,' or 'so-and-so,'
When, as you well know who've seen us, we can scoff the lot between us
Me an' Joe.
And I warn you to be careful of that legislative group
Which has appetite for nothing but mere Democratic soup.


Such dyspeptic politicians are not fit for their positions;
They are weak and puny creatures: let them go;
And, whatever you adhere to, you can bet your cause is dear to
Me - or Joe.
For our iron constitution is a thing to marvel at,
And, when we 'ave dined, as I have said, there's little for the cat.

by Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis.

The Poet's Apology

Our poet has never as yet
Esteemed it proper or fit
To detain you with a long
Encomiastic song
On his own superior wit;
But being abused and accused,
And attacked of late
As a foe of the State,
He makes an appeal in his proper defense,
To your voluble humor and temper and sense,
With the following plea:
Namely, that he
Never attempted or ever meant
To scandalize
In any wise
Your mighty imperial government.
Moreover he says,
That in various ways
He presumes to have merited honor and praise;
Exhorting you still to stick to your rights,
And no more to be fooled with rhetorical flights;
Such as of late each envoy tries
On the behalf of your allies,
That come to plead their cause before ye,
With fulsome phrase, and a foolish story
Of 'violet crowns' and 'Athenian glory,'
With 'sumptuous Athens' at every word:
'Sumptuous Athens' is always heard;
'Sumptuous' ever, a suitable phrase
For a dish of meat or a beast at graze.
He therefore affirms
In confident terms,
That his active courage and earnest zeal
Have usefully served your common weal:
He has openly shown
The style and tone
Of your democracy ruling abroad,
He has placed its practices on record;
The tyrannical arts, the knavish tricks,
That poison all your politics.
Therefore shall we see, this year,
The allies with tribute arriving here,
Eager and anxious all to behold
Their steady protector, the bard so bold;
The bard, they say, that has dared to speak,
To attack the strong, to defend the weak.
His fame in foreign climes is heard,
And a singular instance lately occurred.
It occurred in the case of the Persian king,
Sifting and cross-examining
The Spartan envoys. He demanded
Which of the rival States commanded
The Grecian seas? He asked them next
(Wishing to see them more perplexed)
Which of the two contending powers
Was chiefly abused by this bard of ours?
For he said, 'Such a bold, so profound an adviser
By dint of abuse would render them wiser,
More active and able; and briefly that they
Must finally prosper and carry the day.'
Now mark the Lacedaemonian guile!
Demanding an insignificant isle!
'AEgina,' they say, 'for a pledge of peace,
As a means to make all jealousy cease.'
Meanwhile their privy design and plan
Is solely to gain this marvelous man--
Knowing his influence on your fate--
By obtaining a hold on his estate
Situate in the isle aforesaid.
Therefore there needs to be no more said.
You know their intention, and know that you know it:
You'll keep to your island, and stick to the poet.
And he for his part
Will practice his art
With a patriot heart,
With the honest views
That he now pursues,
And fair buffoonery and abuse:
Not rashly bespattering, or basely beflattering,
Not pimping, or puffing, or acting the ruffian;
Not sneaking or fawning;
But openly scorning
All menace and warning,
All bribes and suborning:
He will do his endeavor on your behalf;
He will teach you to think, he will teach you to laugh.
So Cleon again and again may try;
I value him not, nor fear him, I!
His rage and rhetoric I defy.
His impudence, his politics,
His dirty designs, his rascally tricks,
No stain of abuse on me shall fix.
Justice and right, in his despite,
Shall aid and attend me, and do me right:
With these to friend, I ne'er will bend,
Nor descend
To a humble tone
(Like his own),
As a sneaking loon,
A knavish, slavish, poor poltroon.

by Aristophanes.

Letter From A Missionary Of The Methodist Episcopal Church South, In Kansas, To A Distinguished Politician. Douglas Mission 1854.

LAST week — the Lord be praised for all His mercies
To His unworthy servant! — I arrived
Safe at the Mission, via Westport; where
I tarried over night, to aid in forming
A Vigilance Committee, to send back,
In shirts of tar, and feather-doublets quilted
With forty stripes save one, all Yankee comers,
Uncircumcised and Gentile, aliens from
The Commonwealth of Israel, who despise
The prize of the high calling of the saints,
Who plant amidst this heathen wilderness
Pure gospel institutions, sanctified
By patriarchal use. The meeting opened
With prayer, as was most fitting. Half an hour,
Or thereaway, I groaned, and strove, and wrestled,
As Jacob did at Penuel, till the power
Fell on the people, and they cried 'Amen!'
'Glory to God!' and stamped and clapped their hands;
And the rough river boatmen wiped their eyes;
'Go it, old hoss!' they cried, and cursed the niggers —
Fulfilling thus the word of prophecy,
'Cursed be Cannan.' After prayer, the meeting
Chose a committee — good and pious men —
A Presbyterian Elder, Baptist deacon,
A local preacher, three or four class-leaders,
Anxious inquirers, and renewed backsliders,
A score in all — to watch the river ferry,
(As they of old did watch the fords of Jordan,)
And cut off all whose Yankee tongues refuse
The Shibboleth of the Nebraska bill.
And then, in answer to repeated calls,
I gave a brief account of what I saw
In Washington; and truly many hearts
Rejoiced to know the President, and you
And all the Cabinet regularly hear
The gospel message of a Sunday morning,
Drinking with thirsty souls of the sincere
Milk of the Word. Glory! Amen, and Selah!
Here, at the Mission, all things have gone well:
The brother who, throughout my absence, acted
As overseer, assures me that the crops
Never were better. I have lost one negro,
A first-rate hand, but obstinate and sullen.
He ran away some time last spring, and hid
In the river timber. There my Indian converts
Found him, and treed and shot him. For the rest,
The heathens round about begin to feel
The influence of our pious ministrations
And works of love; and some of them already
Have purchased negroes, and are settling down
As sober Christians! Bless the Lord for this!
I know it will rejoice you. You, I hear,
Are on the eve of visiting Chicago,
To fight with the wild beasts of Ephesus,
Long John, and Dutch Free-Soilers. May your arm
Be clothed with strength, and on your tongue be found
The sweet oil of persuasion. So desires
Your brother and co-laborer. Amen!
P.S. All's lost. Even while I write these lines,
The Yankee abolitionists are coming
Upon us like a flood — grim, stalwart men,
Each face set like a flint of Plymouth Rock
Against our institutions — staking out
Their farm lots on the wooded Wakarusa,
Or squatting by the mellow-bottomed Kansas;
The pioneers of mightier multitudes,
The small rain-patter, ere the thunder shower
Drowns the dry prairies. Hope from man is not.
Oh, for a quiet berth at Washington,
Snug naval chaplaincy, or clerkship, where
These rumors of free labor and free soil
Might never meet me more. Better to be
Door-keeper in the White House, than to dwell
Amidst these Yankee tents, that, whitening, show
On the green prairie like a fleet becalmed.
Methinks I hear a voice come up the river
From those far bayous, where the alligators
Mount guard around the camping filibusters:
'Shake off the dust of Kansas. Turn to Cuba —
(That golden orange just about to fall,
O'er-ripe, into the Democratic lap
Keep pace with Providence, or, as we say,
Manifest destiny. Go forth and follow
The message of our gospel, thither borne
Upon the point of Quitman's bowie-knife,
And the persuasive lips of Colt's revolvers.
There may'st thou, underneath thy vine and fig-tree,
Watch thy increase of sugar cane and negroes,
Calm as a patriarch in his eastern tent!'
Amen: So mote it be. So prays your friend.

by John Greenleaf Whittier.