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… A Brag And Chant For Bryan

May 2024
1min read


As a kind of antidote to the inspired doggerel on the opposite page, we thought it might be instructive to offer a few lines from Vachel Lindsay’s “Bryan, Bryan, Bryan, Bryan: The Campaign of Eighteen Ninety-Six, as Viewed at the Time by a Sixteen-Year-Old, etc.…:


I brag and chant of Bryan, Bryan , Bryan , Candidate for president who sketched a silver Zion,… He scourged the elephant plutocrats With barbed wire from the Platte … Prairie avenger, mountain lion , Bryan, Bryan, Bryan, Bryan , Gigantic troubadour, speaking like a siege gun , Smashing Plymouth Rock with his boulders from the West , And just a hundred miles behind , tornadoes piled across the sky , Blotting out the sun and moon, A sign on high. … Election night at midnight: Boy Bryan’s defeat . Defeat of western silver . Defeat of the wheat . Victory of letterfiles And plutocrats in miles With dollar signs upon their coats , Diamond watchchains on their vests , And spats on their feet . Victory of custodians , Plymouth Rock , And all that inbred landlord stock . Victory of the neat. … Where is that boy, that Heaven-born Bryan , That Homer Bryan, who sang from the West? Gone to join the shadows with Altgeld the Eagle , Where the kings and the slaves and the troubadours rest .

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