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First Line: You ask me in a general way
Last Line: Because -- no more can I, sir!
Subject(s): Political Campaigns

YOU ask me in a general way
To state my Platform and to say
What several planks compose it:
Yet can a pure Philosopher
(Prone like the rest of us to err)
Know what he thinks -- I ask you, Sir! --
Who only thinks he knows it?

Pass we that point. I'll do my best,
In answer to your strange request,
To satisfy your wishes:
To serve the Good is still my plan,
Rejecting with a ruthless ban
And crushing down whene'er I can
All elements pernicious!

'But will you vote' (I hear you cry)
'For every cause and purpose high,
Progressive, Pure, Enlightened?'
Sir, when it is exactly seen
What adjectives like these may mean,
'Twill then be time to judge between
What might be, and what mightn't.

What! still you think that I'm obscure?
Perhaps you'll ask (I fear that you're
A pedant and precisian)
What line I mean to follow (please)
On Greek, on Feminine Degrees,
On questions similar to these
Which press for prompt decision?

How rash is he whose curious eyes
Investigate contingencies:
How vain his toil and pother!
The Future is in darkness shut:
To every question frankly put
Not only is there one side, but
There also is another.

Yet -- can't I tell you, plain and flat,
My sentiments on this or that,
And which I'll vote for soonest?
Ah no! you seem unconscious quite
How rules of Wrong and laws of Right
Can ne'er obscure that steadfast light
Which guides the Opportunist!

My soul is freed: my purpose plain:
But if you really still maintain
You're hardly much the wiser,
And cannot grasp my mental view --
Why, then, most patently it's true
That I'm the candidate for you:
Because -- no more can I, Sir!

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