A Growler - Poem by Ambrose Bierce
Judge Shafter, you're an aged man, I know,
And learned too, I doubt not, in the law;
And a head white with many a winter's snow
(I wish, however that your heart would thaw)
Claims reverence and honor; but the jaw
That's always wagging with a word malign,
Nagging and scolding every one in sight
As harshly as a jaybird in a pine,
And with as little sense of wrong and right
As animates that irritable creature,
Is not a very venerable feature.
You damn all witnesses, all jurors too
(And swear at the attorneys, I suppose,
But _that's_ commendable) 'till all is blue';
And what it's all about, the good Lord knows,
Not you; but all the hotter, fiercer glows
Your wrath for that-as dogs the louder howl
With only moonshine to incite their rage,
And bears with more ferocious menace growl,
Even when their food is flung into the cage.
Reform, your Honor, and forbear to curse us.
Lest all men, hearing you, cry: '_Ecce ursus_!'
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