Ambrose Bierce

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

Azrael - Poem by Ambrose Bierce

The moon in the field of the keel-plowed main
Was watching the growing tide:
A luminous peasant was driving his wain,
And he offered my soul a ride.

But I nourished a sorrow uncommonly tall,
And I fixed him fast with mine eye.
'O, peasant,' I sang with a dying fall,
'Go leave me to sing and die.'

The water was weltering round my feet,
As prone on the beach they lay.
I chanted my death-song loud and sweet;
'Kioodle, ioodle, iay!'

Then I heard the swish of erecting ears
Which caught that enchanted strain.
The ocean was swollen with storms of tears
That fell from the shining swain.

'O, poet,' leapt he to the soaken sand,
'That ravishing song would make
The devil a saint.' He held out his hand
And solemnly added: 'Shake.'

We shook. 'I crave a victim, you see,'
He said-'you came hither to die.'
The Angel of Death, 't was he! 't was he!
And the victim he crove was I!

'T was I, Fred Emerson Brooks, the bard;
And he knocked me on the head.
O Lord! I thought it exceedingly hard,
For I didn't want to be dead.

'You'll sing no worser for that,' said he,
And he drove with my soul away,
O, death-song singers, be warned by me,
Kioodle, ioodle, iay!


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Poem Submitted: Thursday, September 27, 2012



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