We Former Unslaven

  Once upon a Super Tuesday, while I pondered, deep in dismay,
Over many a quaint and curious column of McCain and Gore--
  While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a whapping,
  As of someone strongly rapping, rapping at my chamber door,
"'Tis some canvaser", I muttered, "rapping at my chamber door--
   Only this and nothing more".

  Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak Marchvember;
And each separate lying flyer spread untruth upon the floor;
  Utterly I feared the morrow--vainly I had sought to borrow
  From the 'net surcease of sorrow--sorrow for the time before--
For the rare and radiant freedoms that are lost and are no more--
  Absent here for evermore.

  And the thing I found abhorrent was the pundit's endless torrent
Stunned me--filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
  "Mind be mute!" I kept repeating, "mind be still, but do no greeting;
  'Tis some canvaser entreating, asking of my votes galore--
Some vile miscreant entreating, the devil's paramour"--
  This it is and nothing more.

  Presently my hopes grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
"Sir," said I, "or Madam, truly your removal I implore;
  But the fact is I was napping, and so loudly came your rapping,
  And so strongly came your rapping, rapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce could not but loathe you"--here I opened wide the door--
  Acrid stench and nothing more.

  Deep into that odor searing, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming thoughts no voter ever dared to dream before;
  But the stench it was displeasing, and the din it kept increasing,
  And the only sound unceasing was the bellowed word "McGore";
This I whispered, and an echo shouted back the word "McGore"--
  Merely this and nothing more.

  Back into the chamber turning, all my bowels within me burning,
Soon again I heard a rapping vastly louder than before,
  "Surely," said I, "this is Satan's ferment, and the spawn of future lament;
  Let me see, then, what the scent is, and this thing that I abhor--
Let my nose be staunched a moment and this odor I ignore--
  'Tis the wind and nothing more.

  Open here I flung the shutter, when, from deep within the gutter,
In there stepped a beast unshaven on his hell-sent, heinous chore;
  Not the least good judgment made he, not a norm or custom stayed he,
  But, with the mien of lord or lady, he asked that him I should adore--
Perched upon a bust of Lincoln, where he promptly spread his gore--
  Perched, and shat, and nothing more.

  Then this unwanted guest compelling my mute anger into swelling
By the cruel and harsh staccato of the proffer it implored,
  "Though thy soul be plain misshapen, thou", I said, "art not a maven,
  Ghastly weak and gutless craven wandering to each voter's door--
Tell me what thy wanton mission is on this your politician's chore!"
  Quoth the craven "CainMcGore".

  Much I marveled this shameless liar to hear portents so dire,
Though its logic little meaning--little truth or firmness bore;
  For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
  Ever yet was cursed with seeing such an unashamed whore--
Pounced to feast upon the witless with whom he had such rapport,
  With such plea as "CainMcGore".

  But the unsought, sitting lonely on the soiled bust, spoke only
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour;
  Nothing farther then he sputtered--nothing further then he muttered--
  Till I scarcely more than uttered, "Pray elections are no more--
On Wednesday he will leave me, as the ballots tell the score."
  Then the guest said "CainMcGore".

  Startled at the stillness broken by reply so foully spoken,
"Doubtless", said I, "what it utters is but what it's living for,
  Paid by some voracious funder who yearns to rape and plunder
  And reave my hopes asunder, until they fade and are no more;
Till the ending of his quest left me yoked and crushed and poor
  To "Always--CainMcGore"

  But this satan still compelling my mute anger into swelling
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat to face this beast, and bust, and door;
  Then upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
  Fancy upon fancy, thinking what this odious visitor--
What this ungainly, ghastly, gaunt and odious visitor
  Meant in croaking "CainMcGore".

  Then I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To this wretch whose rancid scent burned in my nasal's core;
  This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
  On the cushion's velvet lining that excreta floated o'er,
And whose velvet-violet lining with the excreta floating o'er,
  It shall ooze, ah, more and more!

  Then, methought, the air grew reeker, perfumed from this fetid seeker
Helped by impish fiends whose footfalls burned and scorched my virgin floor;
  "Wretch", I cried, "thy God has spurned thee-by these devils he has sent thee
  Respite--respite and nepenthe from these timeless joys of yore;
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget the freedoms of before!"
  Quote the craven "CainMcGore".

  "Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil!--prophet still, if wretch or devil!--
Whether Carville sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore;
  With thy falsehoods always winning, parsed by vicious meisters spinning--
  On this place with pundits sinning--tell me truly, I implore--
Is there--is there truth in campaign ads--tell me--tell me, I implore!"
  Quoth the craven "CainMcGore".

  "Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil!--prophet still, if wretch or devil!--
By that Heaven that bends above us--by that Satan you adore--
  Tell this soul with fears of Clinton if, beyond the next election,
  We shall have a prince of vision who shall be our guarantor--
Make a wise and apt decision that shall let our freedoms soar."
  Quoth the craven "CainMcGore".

  "Be that word our sign of parting, wretch or fiend!" I shrieked, upstarting--
"Get thee back into campaigning and thy focus groups galore!
  Leave no flyers as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
  Leave my hopes and dreams unbroken-quit the bust above my door!
Take thy ads and campaign hardcore, and take thy form from off my door!"
  Quoth the craven "CainMcGore".

  And the craven, not retreating, still excreting, still excreting
On the sullied bust of Lincoln just above my chamber door
  And his eyes have all the scheming of the power-mad decreeing
  That I should find agreeing all that I once did deplore
And my soul from out that shadow is never to restore
  Shall be let loose--nevermore!