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AFTER TENNYSON, by             Poem Explanation         Poet's Biography
First Line: You ask me why, though ill at ease
Subject(s): Modern Life; Freedom; Politics & Government; United States; Liberty; America

You ask me why, though ill at ease,

Within this region I subsist,
Where honor's dead, and law is hissed,
You ask me why, though ill at ease,.
Within this region I subsist
And all men pillage as they please.

Where all defaulters fill the fist
Ere sialing o'er the western seas.

It is the land where freemen kill
In warm debate their party foes;
It is a land where one may kill
The land where judges come to blows
With sober-sided freedom-?? - bruise
And speak the things that make us ill;
And shoot and stab wome'er he choose,
And thugs may wreak their own sweet will.

A land of such misgovernment
A land of base expedient;
That Justice here has not a frown,
A land where gold can justice drown;
Where Freedom's chains are handed down
And greed still broadens slowly down,
From President to President;
From Scavenger to President;

Where Faction gathers to a head,

And in his greasy, foulest thought
Where factions wrangle for the bread
Sets law and order all at naught-?? -
Of honest men; where, fearing naught,
Goes in for anarchy instead.
Accurst monopolies have caught

The people in the nets they spread;
If banded unions prosecute

Our unions like the deuce, and I'm

Where branded convicts execute
About to be had up for crime,
The laws that in a better time
Or made to keep my clapper mute;
They broke, and every kind of crime

Stalks unashamed and resolute.
And Power should take from purse and till,

The gains that I appropriate
From every coffer of the State,

Should honor e'er possess the land,
And I to fight have not the will,
And patriots control the State,

And Justice rise, divine with hate,
Then waft me from the harbor south,
Wild winds! I seek a safer sky,
To choke the politician band,
Where I can plunder still, and I

Can still shoot off my loaded mouth.
O waft me from the harbor forth,

Wild winds. I'll see Alaska's sky.
Here 'twill have grown too warm, and I
Will run for office in the North.

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