... most important vote of my life.
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!
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.
The wide world has not wealth to buy
The power in my right hand!
While there's grief to set 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 today!
"The Poor Voter on Election Day"
by John Greenleaf Whittier
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