Ambrose Bierce

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

Polyphemus - Poem by Ambrose Bierce

Twas a sick young man with a face ungay
And an eye that was all alone;
And he shook his head in a hopeless way
As he sat on a roadside stone.


'O, ailing youth, what untoward fate
Has made the sun to set
On your mirth and eye?' 'I'm constrained to state
I'm an ex-West Point cadet.


''Twas at cannon-practice I got my hurt
And my present frame of mind;
For the gun went off with a double spurt-
Before it, and also behind!'


'How sad, how sad, that a fine young chap,
When studying how to kill,
Should meet with so terrible a mishap
Precluding eventual skill.


'Ah, woful to think that a weapon made
For mowing down the foe
Should commit so dreadful an escapade
As to turn about to mow!'


No more he heeded while I condoled:
He was wandering in his mind;
His lonely eye unconsidered rolled,
And his views he thus defined:


''Twas O for a breach of the peace-'twas O
For an international brawl!
But a piece of the breech-ah no, ah no,
I didn't want that at all.'


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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, April 20, 2010



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