Poetry of Kansas

The Man For The Hour.

Where shall we seek him? Where well-leagued corruption
    Welds its dark compacts in some secret ring;
Where hungry traitors feed upon disruption;
    Where Falsehood brews his schemes, and Gold is King?
 
Not there! The man we want scorns clique and cabal;
    On thievish trickery looks sternly down;
Hating a lie, dupe of no specious fable,
    Truth is his breastplate, honor is his crown.
 
He loves his country,___serves her for affection;
    Her loaves and fishes enter not his plan;
Firm as a rock, he meets the tides of faction;
    Tool of no clique, he fears no party-ban.
 
He loves his country; so, when tempests lower,
    And the ship tosses on a heaving sea;
His be the watch,___his be the gloomy hour,___
    For none shall keep the post so well as he.
 
Trust not the hireling when disasters thicken;
    He only cares to cut his loaf of bread,
And coolly sits him down his pay to reckon,
    While growling thunders menace overhead.
 
If great his wisdom, greater still the evil;
    A clear, cool head, a gift men's hearts to ruin;
A giant's strength, all bartered to the devil,
    Is a great sale, with much, alas! thrown in.
 
"No man but has his price?' said Charles the Second,-
    'Twas thus the Royal scoffer sneered his sneer;
But then, no doubt, 'twas by himself he reckoned;
    He had his price-or several___that is clear.
 
Some men have not. Truth is not dead, nor honor.
    Let them come forward, boldly take the front,
Hurl their indignant scorn at bribe and donor,
    And take, as patriots should, the battle's brunt.
 
The man we want is brave, is wise, is witty,
    With strength to push Corruption to the wall;
Must have for high-bred thieves no breast of pity;
    And must himself be honest___first of all.

__Ellen P. Allerton.

Walls of Corn and Other Poems
Ellen P. Allerton
(Hiawatha, KS: Harrington Printing Company. 1894)
Pages 62-63

 
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March 20, 2003 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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