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The Poor Voter on Election Day
by John Greenleaf Whittier

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!

John Greenleaf Whittier was a 19th century Quaker poet from Massachusetts and a contemporary of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Walt Whitman. He was born on December 17, 1807 in Massachusetts.

Whittier is often depicted as a gentle Quaker (Society of Friends) poet, but he was also a fiery politician of some courage. He declared himself an *abolitionist in the pamphlet Justice and Expediency (1833) and went to the unpopular national antislavery convention.

In 1834- 1835 he sat in the Massachusetts legislature; he ran for Congress on the Liberty ticket in 1842 and was a founder of the Republican party. He also worked staunchly behind the political scene to further the abolitionist cause and was an active antislavery editor until 1840, when frail health forced him to retire to his Amesbury home. John Greenleaf Whittier wrote other poems and articles, and died on September 7, 1892, at the home of a friend in Hampton Falls, New Hampshire.
*abolitionist: a person who was AGAINST slavery.
"Lewis Carroll"

For Those Who Fail
by Joaquin Miller

"All honor to him who shall win the prize,"
The world has cried for a thousand years;
But to him who tries and who fails and dies,
I give great honor and glory and tears.

O great is the hero who wins a name,
But greater many and many a time,
Some pale-faced fellow who dies in shame,
And lets God finish the thought sublime.

And great is the man with a sword undrawn,
And good is the man who refrains from wine;
But the man who fails and yet fights on,
Lo! he is the twin-born brother of mine!

About Joaquin Miller...

Cincinnatus Heine Miller, generally known as Joaquin Miller (1841-1912), revealed in his verse much of the restless energy of Western America, wehre most of his life was passed. "Columbus" is probably his best known poem. "For those Who Fail" suggests the important truth that he who wins popular applause is not usually the one who most deserves to be honored.

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