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The Candidates at the Fair


Americans are forever hopeful that the next presidential term will be greater than the last. In fact, most will agree that, whoever wins the race, could not possibly be worse. And then our inner-Yankee voice speaks up and says – when it comes to politicians, they’re all pretty much the same.





MORE on Sam Walter Foss
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EDITOR’S NOTE: SW Foss was born in Candia, NH in 1858, was educated at Portsmouth High and spend much of his life as a librarian in Sommerville, MA. He is best known for his poem "House by the Side of the Road" and was the self avowed poet of the average man. His work, therefore, includes a good deal of slang and vernacular language drawn from everyday speech. His poems are inevitably comic and uplifting, and he encouraged readers never to give up and to see the cosmic humor in everyday life. -- JDR

The Candidates at the Fair

The two opposing candidates went to the county fair.
One had cologne upon his clothes, one hayseed in his hair;
One travelled burdened with ten trunks that bore his twenty suits,
One bore the soil from fourteen towns upon his shineless boots.

The prim dude candidate was wise in economic lore,
And soaked them full of statesmanship till they could hold no more.
He cited economic laws in terms abstruse and deep,
And principles and precedents until they went t sleep.

He quoted from Calhoun and Clay and Jefferson at will;
From Adam Smith, Sir Thomas More, and from John Stuart Mill;
From Plato and from Aristotle, Guizot, and Herbert Spencer;
And all the while he talked and talked their ignorance grew denser.

And then the hayseed candidate stood up there at the fair,
While his unlimbered whiskers waved and flaunted through the air,
And told them how he raised his corn, and how he cut his hay,
And how through fifty working years he’d made his farming pay.

He told them how he’d drained his swamp, and how he’d built his fence,
And showed them what hard work can do when mixed with common-sense.
"And now send me to Congress, friends," said plain old Silas Brown,
"An’ I’ll make things you sell go up, and’ things you buy come down.

"I hain’t no learned prinserples; I’m plain ol’ Stick-in-the-Mud,
A blunt, plain man like you an’ you, an ignorant ol’ cud;
An’ I don’t know no books an’ things, like this wise chap from town;
But I’ll make things you sell go up, an’ things you buy come down.

I hain’t no statesman who can talk purtection or free trade;
My han’s too stiff to hol’ a pen, that’s made to hol’ a spade;
Them ten-foot eddicated words my tongue can’t wallop roun’;
But I’ll make things you sell go up, an’ things you buy come down.

"I can’t talk on the currency, nor on the revenue,
An’ on the laws an’ statoots I’m as ignorant as you;
An’ I jest simply promise you, sure’s I am Silas Brown,
I’ll make the things you sell go up, an’ things you buy come down."

The fair-ground echoed wide with cheers and loud huzzas thereat;
For who can ask a better scheme of statesmanship than that?
And next week at the polls he beat his rival high and dry –
But things we sell continue low, and things we buy are high

By Sam Walter Foss 
Transcribed for by The Typing Militia



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