Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, A PRESIDENT, by BAYARD TAYLOR

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

A PRESIDENT, by                 Poet's Biography
First Line: Thou, whom the slave-lords with contemptuous feet
Last Line: Which gave us treason, war, and lastly -- thee!
Alternate Author Name(s): Taylor, James Bayard
Subject(s): Freedom; Leadership; Treason And Traitors; War; Liberty

THOU, whom the slave-lords with contemptuous feet
Spurned in their double insult -- taunting thee,
As born of Labor and of Poverty,
With scorn in thine abasement most unmeet,
How dost thou find their false embraces sweet!
How, so insanely blind, thou canst not see
What shameless scoffs in their applauses be?
So took the drunken slave, in Roman street,
The homage of his master's mocking mirth:
And thou, who mightst have lifted up thy race,
Dost rather take from Toil its dignity,
And unto ignorance addest fresh disgrace.
But we shall sweep that system from the earth
Which gave us Treason, war, and lastly -- thee!

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