Ambrose Bierce

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

In His Hand - Poem by Ambrose Bierce

De Young (in Chicago the story is told)
'Took his life in his hand,' like a warrior bold,
And stood before Buckley-who thought him behind,
For Buckley, the man-eating monster is blind.
'Count fairly the ballots!' so rang the demand
Of the gallant De Young, with his life in his hand.
'Tis done, and the struggle is ended. No more
He havocs the battle-field, gilt with the gore
Of slain reputations. No more he defies
His 'lying opponents' with deadlier lies.
His trumpet is hushed and his belt is unbound
His enemies' characters cumber the ground.
They bloat on the war-plain with ink all asoak,
The fortunate candidates perching to croak.
No more he will charge, with a daring divine,
His foes with corruption, his friends by the line.
The thunders are stilled of the horrid campaign,
De Young is triumphant, and never again
Will he need, with his life in his hand, to roar:
'Count fair or, by G--, I will die on your floor!'
His life has been spared, for his sins to atone,
And the hand that he took it in washed with cologne.


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Poem Submitted: Friday, September 28, 2012



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