Ambrose Bierce

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

Unarmed - Poem by Ambrose Bierce

Saint Peter sat at the jasper gate,
When Stephen M. White arrived in state.

'Admit me.' 'With pleasure,' Peter said,
Pleased to observe that the man was dead;

'That's what I'm here for. Kindly show
Your ticket, my lord, and in you go.'

White stared in blank surprise. Said he
'I _run_ this place-just turn that key.'

'Yes?' said the Saint; and Stephen heard
With pain the inflection of that word.

But, mastering his emotion, he
Remarked: 'My friend, you're too d-- free;

'I'm Stephen M., by thunder, White!'
And, 'Yes?' the guardian said, with quite

The self-same irritating stress
Distinguishing his former yes.

And still demurely as a mouse
He twirled the key to that Upper House.

Then Stephen, seeing his bluster vain
Admittance to those halls to gain,

Said, neighborly: 'Pray tell me. Pete,
Does any one contest my seat?'

The Saint replied: 'Nay, nay, not so;
But you voted always wrong below:

'Whate'er the question, clear and high
You're voice rang: '_I_,' '_I_,' ever '_I_.''

Now indignation fired the heart
Of that insulted immortal part.

'Die, wretch!' he cried, with blanching lip,
And made a motion to his hip,

With purpose murderous and hearty,
To draw the Democratic party!

He felt his fingers vainly slide
Upon his unappareled hide

(The dead arise from their 'silent tents'
But not their late habiliments)

Then wailed-the briefest of his speeches:
'I've left it in my other breeches!'

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Poem Submitted: Saturday, September 29, 2012

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