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The Barking Weasel

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

You say, John Irish, Mr. Taylor hath
A painted beard. Quite likely that is true,
And sure 'tis natural you spend your wrath
On what has been least merciful to you.
By Taylor's chin, if I am not mistaken,
You like a rat have recently been shaken.

To wear a beard of artificial hue
May be or this or that, I know not what;
But, faith, 'tis better to be black-and-blue
In beard from dallying with brush and pot
Than to be so in body from the beating
That hardy rogues get when detected cheating.

You're whacked about the mazzard rather more
Of late than any other man in town.
Certes your vulnerable back is sore
And tender, too, your corrigible crown.
In truth your whole periphery discloses
More vivid colors than a bed of posies!

You call it glory! Put your tongue in sheath!
Scars got in battle, even if on the breast,
May be a shameful record if, beneath,
A robber heart a lawless strife attest.
John Sullivan had wounds, and Paddy Ryan
Nay, as to that, even Masten has, and Bryan.

'Tis willingly conceded you've a knack
At holding the attention of the town;
The worse for you when you have on your back
What did not grow there-prithee put it down!
For pride kills thrift, and you lack board and lodging,
Even while the brickbats of renown you're dodging.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:11 min read
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Ambrose Bierce

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

All Ambrose Bierce poems | Ambrose Bierce Books

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