Ambrose Bierce

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

'Peaceable Expulsion' - Poem by Ambrose Bierce


MOUNTWAVE _a Politician_
HARDHAND _a Workingman_
TOK BAK _a Chinaman_
SATAN _a Friend to Mountwave_



My friend, I beg that you will lend your ears
(I know 'tis asking a good deal of you)
While I for your instruction nominate
Some certain wrongs you suffer. Men like you
Imperfectly are sensible of all
The miseries they actually feel.
Hence, Providence has prudently raised up
Clear-sighted men like me to diagnose
Their cases and inform them where they're hurt.
The wounds of honest workingmen I've made
A specialty, and probing them's my trade.


Well, Mister, s'pose you let yer bossest eye
Camp on my mortal part awhile; then you
Jes' toot my sufferin's an' tell me what's
The fashionable caper now in writhes-
The very swellest wiggle.


Well, my lad,
'Tis plain as is the long, conspicuous nose
Borne, ponderous and pendulous, between
The elephant's remarkable eye-teeth
(_Enter Tok Bak._)
That Chinese competition's what ails _you_.

BOTH (_Singing_):

O pig-tail Celestial,
O barbarous bestial,
Abominable Chinee!
Simian fellow man,
Primitive yellow man,
Joshian devotee!
Shoe-and-cigar machine,
You are, and butter are we-
Fat of the land are we,
Salt of the earth;
In God's image planned to be-
Noble in birth!
You, on the contrary,
Modeled upon very
Different lines indeed,
Show in conspicuous,
Base and ridiculous
Ways your inferior breed.
Wretched apology,
Shame of ethnology,
Monster unspeakably low!
Fit to be buckshotted-
Be you 'steboycotted.


You listen me! You beatee the big dlum
An' tell me go to Flowly Kingdom Come.
You all too muchee fool. You chinnee heap.
Such talkee like my washee-belly cheap!
(_Enter Satan._)
You dlive me outee clunty towns all way;
Why you no tackle me Safflisco, hay?


Methought I heard a murmuring of tongues
Sound through the ceiling of the hollow earth,
As if the anti-coolie ques--ha! friends,
Well met. You see I keep my ancient word:
Where two or three are gathered in my name,
There am I in their midst.


O monstrous thief!
To quote the words of Shakespeare as your own.
I know his work.


Who's Shakespeare?-what's his trade?
I've heard about the work o' that galoot
Till I'm jest sick!


Go Sunny school-you'll know
Mo' Bible. Bime by pleach-hell-talkee. Tell
'Bout Abel-mebby so he live too cheap.
He mebby all time dig on lanch-no dlink,
No splee-no go plocession fo' make vote-
No sendee money out of clunty fo'
To helpee Ilishmen. Cain killum. Josh
He catchee at it, an' he belly mad-
Say: 'Allee Melicans boycottee Cain.'
Not muchee-you no pleachee that:
You all same lie.


This cuss must be expelled.
(_Draws pistol_.)


For Chinese expulsion, hurrah!
To mobbing and murder, all hail!
Away with your justice and law-
We'll make every pagan turn tail.


Bedad! oof dot tief o'ze vorld-
Zat Ivan Tchanay vos got hurled
In Hella, da debil he say:
'Wor be yer return pairmit, hey?'
Und gry as 'e shaka da boot:
'Zis haythen haf nevaire been oot!'


Too many cooks are working at this broth-
I think, by thunder, t'will be mostly froth!
I'm cussed ef I can sarvy, up to date,
What good this dern fandango does the State.


The State's advantage, sir, you may not see,
But think how good it is for me.


And me.


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Poem Submitted: Thursday, September 27, 2012

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