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Ben Franklin's bifocals November 3, 2004

Kerry at the Polls

(A Ballad of the Republic. Sung in the Year 2004)
(Apologies to Ernest Lawrence Thayer)

The outlook wasn't brilliant for the Democrats that day;
The score stood four to two with but one inning more to play.
And then when Castor died at first, and Daschle did the same,
A sickly silence fell upon the patrons of the game.
A straggling few got up to go in deep despair. The rest
Clung to that hope which springs eternal in a human breast;
They thought if only Kerry could but win Ohio flat--
We'd put up even more money now with Kerry at the bat.

But Barack Obama preceded Kerry, as did also Salazar.
The former came from nowhere, and Coors was in the bar;
So upon that stricken multitude grim melancholy sat.
There seemed but little chance of Kerry's getting to the bat.
But Ken let drive a single, to the wonderment of all,
And Barack, the much desired, tore the cover off the ball;
And when the dust had lifted, and men saw what had occurred,
There was Barack safe at second and Salazar a-hugging third.

Then from 5,000,000 throats and more there rose a lusty yell;
It rumbled through the valley, it rattled in the dell;
It knocked upon the mountain and recoiled upon the flat,
For Kerry, mighty Kerry, was advancing to the bat.

Ten million eyes were on him as he rubbed his hands with dirt;
Five million tongues applauded when he wiped them on his shirt.
Then while the writhing Cheney ground the ball into his hip,
Defiance gleamed in Kerry's eye, a sneer curled Kerry's lip.

And now the leather-covered sphere came hurtling through the air,
And Kerry stood a-watching it in haughty grandeur there.
Close by the sturdy batsman the ball unheeded sped --
"That's not my style," said Kerry. "Strike one," the umpire said.

From the benches, bleak with people, there went up a muffled roar,
Like the beating of the storm waves on a worn and distant shore.
"Kill him! Kill the Bush Empire!" shouted someone in the stands,
And it's likely they'd have killed him had not Kerry raised his hand.

With a smile of Catholic charity great Kerry's visage shone;
He stilled the rising tumult; he bade the game go on;
He signaled to the pitcher and once more the spheroid flew;
But Kerry still ignored it and the umpire said, "Strike two."

"Fraud!" cried thousands of lawyers, and the echo answered fraud;
But one scornful look from Kerry and the audience was awed.

They saw his face grow stern and cold, they saw his muscles strain,
And they knew that Kerry wouldn't let the ball go by again.

The sneer is gone from Kerry's lip, his teeth are nice and straight;
He pounds with cruel violence his bat upon the plate.
And now the pitcher holds the ball and now he lets it go,
And now the air is shattered by the force of Kerry's blow.

Oh! somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
The band is playing somewhere and somewhere hearts are light,
And somewhere men are laughing and somewhere children shout;
But there is less joy in Boston -- mighty Kerry has struck out.

Casey at the bat

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