James Russell Lowell

(22 February 1819 – 12 August 1891 / Cambridge, Massachusetts)

The Candidate's Creed - Poem by James Russell Lowell

I du believe in Freedom's cause,
Ez fur away ez Paris is;
I love to see her stick her claws
In them infarnal Pharisees;
It's wal enough agin a king
To dror resolves and triggers,—
But libbaty's a kind o' thing
Thet don't agree with niggers.

I du believe the people want
A tax on teas and coffees,
Thet nothin' aint extravygunt,—
Purvidin' I'm in office;
For I hev loved my country sence
My eye-teeth filled their sockets,
An' Uncle Sam I reverence,
Partic'larly his pockets.

I du believe in ANY plan
O' levyin' the taxes,
Ez long ez, like a lumberman,
I git jest wut I axes:
I go free-trade thru thick an' thin,
Because it kind o' rouses
The folks to vote—and keep us in
Our quiet custom-houses.

I du believe it's wise an' good
To sen' out furrin missions,
Thet is, on sartin understood
An' orthydox conditions;—
I mean nine thousan' dolls. per ann.,
Nine thousan' more fer outfit,
An' me to recommend a man
The place 'ould jest about fit.

I du believe in special ways
O' prayin' an' convartin';
The bread comes back in many days,
An' buttered, tu, fer sartin;—
I mean in preyin' till one busts
On wut the party chooses,
An' in convartin' public trusts
To very privit uses.

I do believe hard coin the stuff
Fer 'lectioneers to spout on;
The people's ollers soft enough
To make hard money out on;
Dear Uncle Sam pervides fer his,
An' gives a good-sized junk to all—
I don't care HOW hard money is,
Ez long ez mine's paid punctooal.

I du believe with all my soul
In the gret Press's freedom,
To pint the people to the goal
An' in the traces lead 'em:
Palsied the arm thet forges yokes
At my fat contracts squintin',
An' wilhered be the nose thet pokes
Inter the gov'ment printin'!

I du believe thet I should give
Wut's his'n unto Caesar,
Fer it's by him I move an' live,
From him my bread an' cheese air
I du believe thet all o' me
Doth bear his souperscription,—
Will, conscience, honor, honesty,
An' things o' thet description.

I du believe in prayer an' praise
To him thet hez the grantin'
O' jobs—in every thin' thet pays,
But most of all in CANTIN';
This doth my cup with marcies fill,
This lays all thought o' sin to rest—
I DON'T believe in princerple,
But, O, I DU in interest.

I du believe in bein' this
Or thet, ez it may happen
One way, or t' other hendiest is
To ketch the people nappin';
It aint by princerples nor men
My preudent course is steadied—
I scent wich pays the best, an' then
Go into it baldheaded.

I du believe thet holdin' slaves
Comes nat'ral tu a President,
Let 'lone the rowdedow it saves
To have a wal-broke precedunt;
Fer any office, small or gret,
I could'nt ax with no face,
Without I'd been, thru dry an' wet,
The unrizziest kind o' doughface.

I du believe wutever trash
'll keep the people in blindness,—
Thet we the Mexicans can thrash
Right inter brotherly kindness—
Thet bombshells, grape, an' powder 'n' ball
Air good-will's strongest magnets—
Thet peace, to make it stick at all,
Must be druv in with bagnets.

In short, I firmly du believe
In Humbug generally,
Fer it's a thing thet I perceive
To hev a solid vally;
This heth my faithful shepherd ben,
In pasturs sweet heth led me,
An' this'll keep the people green
To feed ez they have fed me.


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Poem Submitted: Thursday, May 10, 2012



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