Nonfiction > Lionel Strachey, et al., eds. > The World’s Wit and Humor > American
The World’s Wit and Humor: An Encyclopedia in 15 Volumes.  1906.
Vols. I–V: American
What Mr. Robinson Thinks
By James Russell Lowell (1819–1891)
From “The Biglow Papers”

GUVENER B. 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 wun’t vote fer 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 wun’t vote fer 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 fer Gineral C.
Gineral C. he goes 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 fer 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 eppyletts 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 things to a T.
Parson Wilbur he calls all these argimunts lies;
  Sez they’re nothin’ on airth but jest fee, faw, fum:
An’ thet all this big talk of our destinies        45
  Is half on 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, and 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 start the world’s team w’en it gits in a slough;        60
          Fer John P.
          Robinson he
  Sez the world’ll go right, ef he hollers out Gee!

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