Ambrose Bierce

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

The God's View-Point - Poem by Ambrose Bierce

Cheeta Raibama Chunder Sen,
The wisest and the best of men,
Betook him to the place where sat
With folded feet upon a mat
Of precious stones beneath a palm,
In sweet and everlasting calm,
That ancient and immortal gent,
The God of Rational Content.
As tranquil and unmoved as Fate,
The deity reposed in state,
With palm to palm and sole to sole,
And beaded breast and beetling jowl,
And belly spread upon his thighs,
And costly diamonds for eyes.
As Chunder Sen approached and knelt
To show the reverence he felt;
Then beat his head upon the sod
To prove his fealty to the god;
And then by gestures signified
The other sentiments inside;
The god's right eye (as Chunder Sen,
The wisest and the best of men,
Half-fancied) grew by just a thought
More narrow than it truly ought.
Yet still that prince of devotees,
Persistent upon bended knees
And elbows bored into the earth,
Declared the god's exceeding worth,
And begged his favor. Then at last,
Within that cavernous and vast
Thoracic space was heard a sound
Like that of water underground
A gurgling note that found a vent
At mouth of that Immortal Gent
In such a chuckle as no ear
Had e'er been privileged to hear!

Cheeta Raibama Chunder Sen,
The wisest, greatest, best of men,
Heard with a natural surprise
That mighty midriff improvise.
And greater yet the marvel was
When from between those massive jaws
Fell words to make the views more plain
The god was pleased to entertain:
'Cheeta Raibama Chunder Sen,'
So ran the rede in speech of men
'Foremost of mortals in assent
To creed of Rational Content,
Why come you here to impetrate
A blessing on your scurvy pate?
Can you not rationally be
Content without disturbing me?
Can you not take a hint-a wink
Of what of all this rot I think?
Is laughter lost upon you quite,
To check you in your pious rite?
What! know you not we gods protest
That all religion is a jest?
You take me seriously?-you
About me make a great ado
(When I but wish to be alone)
With attitudes supine and prone,
With genuflexions and with prayers,
And putting on of solemn airs,
To draw my mind from the survey
Of Rational Content away!
Learn once for all, if learn you can,
This truth, significant to man:
A pious person is by odds
The one most hateful to the gods.'
Then stretching forth his great right hand,
Which shadowed all that sunny land,
That deity bestowed a touch
Which Chunder Sen not overmuch
Enjoyed-a touch divine that made
The sufferer hear stars! They played
And sang as on Creation's morn
When spheric harmony was born.

Cheeta Raibama Chunder Sen,
The most astonished man of men,
Fell straight asleep, and when he woke
The deity nor moved nor spoke,
But sat beneath that ancient palm
In sweet and everlasting calm.


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Poem Submitted: Friday, September 28, 2012



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