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From Virginia To Paris

Ambrose Bierce 1842 (Meigs County) – 1914 (Chihuahua)



The polecat, sovereign of its native wood,
Dashes damnation upon bad and good;
The health of all the upas trees impairs
By exhalations deadlier than theirs;
Poisons the rattlesnake and warts the toad
The creeks go rotten and the rocks corrode!
She shakes o'er breathless hill and shrinking dale
The horrid aspergillus of her tail!
From every saturated hair, till dry,
The spargent fragrances divergent fly,
Deafen the earth and scream along the sky!

Removed to alien scenes, amid the strife
Of urban odors to ungladden life
Where gas and sewers and dead dogs conspire
The flesh to torture and the soul to fire
Where all the 'well defined and several stinks'
Known to mankind hold revel and high jinks
Humbled in spirit, smitten with a sense
Of lost distinction, leveled eminence,
She suddenly resigns her baleful trust,
Nor ever lays again our mortal dust.
Her powers atrophied, her vigor sunk,
She lives deodorized, a sweeter skunk.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Ambrose Bierce

Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce was an American editorialist, journalist, short story writer, fabulist, and satirist. more…

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