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The Outs

From the Evening Star, April 26, 1915. By Philander Johnson.

It is difficult to be a politician,
    And labor for your country night and day.
There are times a man would rather go a-fishin’
    And let the precious moments drift away.
But a statesman has to stay in active service,
    And seek to elevate the human race;
With reminders of this fact to make him nervous—
    There are hundreds who are waiting for his place.

No matter if he’s eloquent or witty;
    No matter if his industry’s immense;
No matter if he can reform a city
    Or check the course of folly and pretense;
No matter if he’s wise and brave and moral,
    The world’s ingratitude invites a sob;
He is sure to find temptations to a quarrel
    With the hundreds who are waiting for his job.

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