A Political Violet - Poem by Ambrose Bierce
Come, Stanford, let us sit at ease
And talk as old friends do.
You talk of anything you please,
And I will talk of you.
You recently have said, I hear,
That you would like to go
To serve as Senator. That's queer!
Have you told William Stow?
Once when the Legislature said:
'Go, Stanford, and be great!'
You lifted up your Jovian head
And everlooked the State.
As one made leisurely awake,
You lightly rubbed your eyes
And answered: 'Thank you-please to make
A note of my surprise.
'But who are they who skulk aside,
As to get out of reach,
And in their clothing strive to hide
Three thousand dollars each?
'Not members of your body, sure?
No, that can hardly be:
All statesmen, I suppose, are pure.
What! there are rogues? Dear me!'
You added, you'll recall, that though
You were surprised and pained,
You thought, upon the whole, you'd go,
And in that mind remained.
Now, what so great a change has wrought
That you so frankly speak
Of 'seeking' honors once unsought
Because you 'scorned to seek'?
Do you not fear the grave reproof
In good Creed Haymond's eye?
Will Stephen Gage not stand aloof
And pass you coldly by?
O, fear you not that Vrooman's lich
Will rise from earth and point
At you a scornful finger which
May lack, perchance, a joint?
Go, Stanford, where the violets grow,
And join their modest train.
Await the work of William Stow
And be surprised again.
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