Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, VOTING THE PAUPERS IN VERMONT, by DANIEL LEAVENS CADY



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VOTING THE PAUPERS IN VERMONT, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: No choice again? Say, that makes twice
Last Line: "the ""lister fight"" is won."
Subject(s): Charity; Homeless; Poverty; Vermont; Philanthropy


"NO choice again? say; that makes twice,
Before we'll know it, in goes Rice,
They've got the meeting packed;
We ought to bag that poorhouse vote
And bury Rice and run in Groat—
It's only four we lacked;
Now see here Jim, you fetch Blind Tim,
And see here Sprague, you get Old Teg,
And I'll bring Grow and Foolish Joe—
Let's come to life and act.

"Say, Flint, you take the floor, By Gum!
And talk till we can go and come,
It's jest two miles, you know;
The going's good, we won't be long,
Jest give 'em any kind of song
And keep 'em stomping snow;
And see here Jim, you fetch Blind Tim,
And I'll get Grow and Foolish Joe,
And see here Sprague, it's yours for Teg—
Unhitch your teams and 'Go!'"

The poorhouse, bathed in frost that day,
Suspected not this furious fray,
When three two-horsepower teams
Dash up with noise enough to rout
A hunderd peaceful paupers out
Of placid drugstore dreams;
And old Blind Tim is bagged by Jim,
And old Lame Teg, he goes with Sprague,
And in piles Grow and Foolish Joe
Who jabbers, scraps and screams.

As now the drivers start again
They wrap these forms that once were men
With clothes the horses wear
And sozzly pung rugs—then they fall
On Rice's record, "Dang it all!
His father wasn't square;"
And driver Jim, he primes Blind Tim,
And driver Sprague, he primes Old Teg,
But Grow and Joe both want to know
If "Cider Stearns" is there.

At length the meetinghouse appears
Wherein they've voted years and years,
And forth "the meeting" pours;
The horses smoke, the drivers shout,
And four old used-ups half fall out
As everybody roars;
And worker Jim, he grabs Blind Tim,
And worker Sprague, he nabs Old Teg,
And Flint snakes Grow and Foolish Joe
Inside the vestry doors.

Up towards the ballot box they shove,
The wise and foolish, hand in glove,
For Flint has done his part
And held the meeting; now he stands
And sticks the votes inside their hands
With Tammanistic art;
And old Blind Tim, he votes through Jim,
And next votes Teg, upheld by Sprague,
And Grow and Joe make out to throw
The Freeman's paper dart.

The hustlers win and in goes Groat
As Second Lister—Rice's throat
Is cut, his race is run;
The poorhouse voters turn the tide,
And "social justice," oft denied,
For once, By Gosh! is done:
Hurrah for Jim and old Blind Tim!
Hurrah for Sprague and Flint and Teg!
Hurrah for Grow and Foolish Joe!
The "lister fight" is won.





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