Ambrose Bierce

(24 June 1842 - 26 December 1913 / Horse Cave Creek, Ohio)

A Black-List - Poem by Ambrose Bierce

'Resolved that we will post,' the tradesmen say,
'All names of debtors who do never pay.'
'Whose shall be first?' inquires the ready scribe
'Who are the chiefs of the marauding tribe?'
Lo! high Parnassus, lifting from the plain,
Upon his hoary peak, a noble fane!
Within that temple all the names are scrolled
Of village bards upon a slab of gold;
To that bad eminence, my friend, aspire,
And copy thou the Roll of Fame, entire.
Yet not to total shame those names devote,
But add in mercy this explaining note:
'These cheat because the law makes theft a crime,
And they obey all laws but laws of rhyme.'

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, September 27, 2012

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