Upton Sinclair, ed. (1878–1968). rn The Cry for Justice: An Anthology of the Literature of Social Protest. 1915.

Why I Voted the Socialist Ticket

Lindsay, Vachel

Vachel Lindsay

(Poet and minstrel of Springfield, Illinois, 1879–1931; has tramped over many parts of the United States with his leaflet of “Rhymes to be Traded for Bread.” He has rediscovered the Homeric chant, and poured into it the life of the Middle West)

I AM unjust, but I can strive for justice.

My life’s unkind, but I can vote for kindness.

I, the unloving, say life should be lovely.

I, that am blind, cry out against my blindness.

Man is a curious brute—he pets his fancies—

Fighting mankind to win sweet luxury;

So he will be, tho’ law be clear as crystal,

Tho’ all men plan to live in harmony.

Come, let us vote against our human nature,

Crying to God in all the polling places

To heal our everlasting sinfulness

And make us sages with transfigured faces.