An Art Critic - Poem by Ambrose Bierce
Ira P. Rankin, you've a nasal name
I'll sound it through 'the speaking-trump of fame,'
And wondering nations, hearing from afar
The brazen twang of its resounding jar,
Shall say: 'These bards are an uncommon class
They blow their noses with a tube of brass!'
Rankin! ye gods! if Influenza pick
Our names at christening, and such names stick,
Let's all be born when summer suns withstand
Her prevalence and chase her from the land,
And healing breezes generously help
To shield from death each ailing human whelp!
'What's in a name?' There's much at least in yours
That the pained ear unwillingly endures,
And much to make the suffering soul, I fear,
Envy the lesser anguish of the ear.
So you object to Cytherea! Do,
The picture was not painted, sir, for you!
Your_ mind to gratify and taste address,
The masking dove had been a dove the less.
Provincial censor! all untaught in art,
With mind indecent and indecent heart,
Do you not know-nay, why should I explain?
Instruction, argument alike were vain
I'll show you reasons when you show me brain.
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