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Read at the Massachusetts Club on the seventieth anniversary of the birthday of Vice-President Wilson, February 16, 1882.

the lowliest born of all the land,
     He wrung from Fate's reluctant hand
The gifts which happier boyhood claims;
     And, tasting on a thankless soil
The bitter bread of unpaid toil,
     He fed his soul with noble aims.

And Nature, kindly provident,
     To him the future's promise lent;
The powers that shape man's destinies,
     Patience and faith and toil, he knew,
The close horizon round him grew,
     Broad with great possibilities.

By the low hearth-fire's fitful blaze
     He read of old heroic days,
The sage's thought, the patriot's speech;
     Unhelped, alone, himself he taught,
His school the craft at which he wrought,
     His lore the book within his reach.

He felt his country's need; he knew
     The work her children had to do;
And when, at last, he heard the call
     In her behalf to serve and dare,
Beside his senatorial chair
     He stood the unquestioned peer of all.

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