Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. IX. Tragedy: Humor
Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume IX. Tragedy: Humor.  1904.
Humorous Poems: II. Miscellaneous
What Mr. Robinson Thinks
James Russell Lowell (1819–1891)
From “The Biglow Papers,” No. III.

GUVENER B. 1 is a sensible man;
  He stays to his home an’ looks arter his folks;
He draws his furrer ez straight ez he can,
  An’ into nobody’s tater-patch pokes;—
            But John P.        5
            Robinson he
    Sez he wunt vote for Guvener B.
My! ain’t it terrible? Wut shall we du?
  We can’t never choose him o’ course,—thet ’s flat;
Guess we shall hev to come round, (don’t you?)        10
  An’ go in fer thunder an’ guns, an’ all that;
            Fer John P.
            Robinson he
    Sez he wunt vote for Guvener B.
Gineral C. is a dreffle smart man:        15
  He ’s ben on all sides thet give places or pelf;
But consistency still wuz a part of his plan,—
  He ’s ben true to one party,—an’ thet is himself;—
            So John P.
            Robinson he        20
    Sez he shall vote for Gineral C.
Gineral C. has gone in fer the war;
  He don’t vally principle more ’n an old cud;
Wut did God make us raytional creeturs fer,
  But glory an’ gunpowder, plunder an’ blood?        25
            So John P.
            Robinson he
    Sez he shall vote for Gineral C.
We were gittin’ on nicely up here to our village,
  With good old idees o’ wut ’s right an’ wut ain’t,        30
We kind o’ thought Christ went agin war an’ pillage,
  An’ thet eppylets worn’t the best mark of a saint;
            But John P.
            Robinson he
    Sez this kind o’ thing ’s an exploded idee.        35
The side of our country must ollers be took,
  An’ President Polk, you know, he is our country;
An’ the angel thet writes all our sins in a book
  Puts the debit to him, an’ to us the per contry;
            An’ John P.        40
            Robinson he
    Sez this is his view o’ the thing to a T.
Parson Wilbur he calls all these argimunts lies;
  Sez they ’re nothin’ on airth but jest fee, faw, fum:
And thet all this big talk of our destinies        45
  Is half ov it ign’ance, an’ t’ other half rum;
            But John P.
            Robinson he
    Sez it ain’t no sech thing; an’, of course, so must we.
Parson Wilbur sez he never heerd in his life        50
  Thet th’ Apostles rigged out in their swaller-tail coats,
An’ marched round in front of a drum an’ a fife,
  To git some on ’em office, an’ some on ’em votes;
            But John P.
            Robinson he        55
    Sez they didn’t know everythin’ down in Judee.
Wal, it ’s a marcy we ’ve gut folks to tell us
  The rights an’ the wrongs o’ these matters, I vow,—
God sends country lawyers, an’ other wise fellers,
  To drive the world’s team wen it gits in a slough;        60
            Fer John P.
            Robinson he
    Sez the world ’ll go right, ef he hollers out Gee!
Note 1. Written at the time of the Mexican war, which was strongly opposed by the Anti-slavery party as being unnecessary and wrong. [back]

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