Ambrose Bierce

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

From The Minutes - Poem by Ambrose Bierce

When, with the force of a ram that discharges its ponderous body
Straight at the rear elevation of the luckless culler of simples,
The foot of Herculean Kilgore-statesman of surname suggestive
Or carnage unspeakable!-lit like a missile prodigious
Upon the Congressional door with a monstrous and mighty momentum,
Causing that vain ineffective bar to political freedom
To fly from its hinges, effacing the nasal excrescence of Dingley,
That luckless one, decently veiling the ruin with ready bandanna,
Lamented the loss of his eminence, sadly with sobs as follows:
'Ah, why was I ever elected to the halls of legislation,
So soon to be shown the door with pitiless emphasis? Truly,
I've leaned on a broken Reed, and the same has gone back on me meanly.
Where now is my prominence, erstwhile in council conspicuous, patent?
Alas, I did never before understand what I now see clearly,
To wit, that Democracy tends to level all human distinctions!'
His fate so untoward and sad the Pine-tree statesman, bewailing,
Stood in the corridor there while Democrats freed from confinement
Came trooping forth from the chamber, dissembling all, as they passed him,
Hilarious sentiments painful indeed to observe, and remarking:
'O friend and colleague of the Speaker, what ails the unjoyous proboscis?'


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Poem Submitted: Friday, September 28, 2012



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