Ambrose Bierce

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

Llewellen Powell - Poem by Ambrose Bierce

Villain, when the word is spoken,
And your chains at last are broken
When the gibbet's chilling shade
Ceases darkly to enfold you,
And the angel who enrolled you
As a master of the trade
Of assassination sadly
Blots the record he has made,
And your name and title paints
In the calendar of saints;
When the devils, dancing madly
In the midmost Hell, are very
Multitudinously merry
Then beware, beware, beware!
Nemesis is everywhere!
You shall hear her at your back,
And, your hunted visage turning,
Fancy that her eyes are burning
Like a tiger's on your track!
You shall hear her in the breeze
Whispering to summer trees.
You shall hear her calling, calling
To your spirit through the storm
When the giant billows form
And the splintered lightning, falling
Down the heights of Heaven, appalling,
Splendors all the tossing seas!
On your bed at night reclining,
Stars into your chamber shining
As they roll around the Pole,
None their purposes divining,
Shall appear to search your soul,
And to gild the mark of Cain
That burns into your tortured brain!
And the dead man's eyes shall ever
Meet your own wherever you,
Desperate, shall turn you to,
And you shall escape them never!

By your heritage of guilt;
By the blood that you have spilt;
By the Law that you have broken;
By the terrible red token
That you bear upon your brow;
By the awful sentence spoken
And irrevocable vow
Which consigns you to a living
Death and to the unforgiving
Furies who avenge your crime
Through the periods of time;
By that dread eternal doom
Hinted in your future's gloom,
As the flames infernal tell
Of their power and perfection
In their wavering reflection
On the battlements of Hell;
By the mercy you denied,
I condemn your guilty soul
In your body to abide,
Like a serpent in a hole!


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Poem Submitted: Friday, September 28, 2012



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