Ambrose Bierce

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

Lusus Politicus - Poem by Ambrose Bierce

Come in, old gentleman. How do you do?
Delighted, I'm sure, that you've called.
I'm a sociable sort of a chap and you
Are a pleasant-appearing person, too,
With a head agreeably bald.
That's right-sit down in the scuttle of coal
And put up your feet in a chair.
It is better to have them there:
And I've always said that a hat of lead,
Such as I see you wear,
Was a better hat than a hat of glass.
And your boots of brass
Are a natural kind of boots, I swear.
'May you blow your nose on a paper of pins?'
Why, certainly, man, why not?
I rather expected you'd do it before,
When I saw you poking it in at the door.
It's dev'lish hot
The weather, I mean. 'You are twins'?
Why, that was evident at the start,
From the way that you paint your head
In stripes of purple and red,
With dots of yellow.
That proves you a fellow
With a love of legitimate art.
'You've bitten a snake and are feeling bad'?
That's very sad,
But Longfellow's words I beg to recall:
Your lot is the common lot of all.
'Horses are trees and the moon is a sneeze'?
That, I fancy, is just as you please.
Some think that way and others hold
The opposite view;
I never quite knew,
For the matter o' that,
When everything's been said
May I offer this mat
If you _will_ stand on your head?
I suppose I look to be upside down
From your present point of view.
It's a giddy old world, from king to clown,
And a topsy-turvy, too.
But, worthy and now uninverted old man,
_You're_ built, at least, on a normal plan
If ever a truth I spoke.
Smoke?
Your air and conversation
Are a liberal education,
And your clothes, including the metal hat
And the brazen boots-what's that?

'You never could stomach a Democrat
Since General Jackson ran?
You're another sort, but you predict
That your party'll get consummately licked?'
Good God! what a queer old man!


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Poem Submitted: Friday, September 28, 2012



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