Ambrose Bierce

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

An Idler - Poem by Ambrose Bierce

Who told Creed Haymond he was witty?-who
Had nothing better in this world to do?
Could no greased pig's appeal to his embrace
Kindle his ardor for the friendly chase?
Did no dead dog upon a vacant lot,
Bloated and bald, or curdled in a clot,
Stir his compassion and inspire his arms
To hide from human eyes its faded charms?

If not to works of piety inclined,
Then recreation might have claimed his mind.
The harmless game that shows the feline greed
To cinch the shorts and make the market bleed
Is better sport than victimizing Creed;
And a far livelier satisfaction comes
Of knowing Simon, autocrat of thumbs.
If neither worthy work nor play command
This gentleman of leisure's heart and hand,
Then Mammon might his idle spirit lift
By hope of profit to some deed of thrift.
Is there no cheese to pare, no flint to skin,
No tin to mend, no glass to be put in,
No housewife worthy of a morning visit,
Her rags and sacks and bottles to solicit?
Lo! the blind sow's precarious pursuit
Of the aspiring oak's familiar fruit!
'Twould more advantage any man to steal
This easy victim's undefended meal
Than tell Creed Haymond he has wit, and so
Expose the state to his narcotic flow!


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Poem Submitted: Friday, September 28, 2012



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