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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,
     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,— [343]
While there's a right to need my vote,
     A wrong to sweep away,
Up! clouted knee and ragged coat!
     A man is a man to-day!


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1848 AD (1)
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