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The Gates Ajar

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



The Day of Judgment spread its glare
O'er continents and seas.
The graves cracked open everywhere,
Like pods of early peas.

Up to the Court of Heaven sped
The souls of all mankind;
Republicans were at the head
And Democrats behind.

Reub. Lloyd was there before the tube
Of Gabriel could call:
The dead in Christ rise first, and Reub.
Had risen first of all.

He sat beside the Throne of Flame
As, to the trumpet's sound,
Four statesmen of the Party Came
And ranged themselves around

Pure spirits shining like the sun,
From taint and blemish free
Great William Stow was there for one,
And George A. Knight for three.

Souls less indubitably white
Approached with anxious air,
Judge Blake at head of them by right
Of having been a Mayor.

His ermine he had donned again,
Long laid away in gums.
'Twas soiled a trifle by the stains
Of politicians' thumbs.

Then Knight addressed the Judge of Heaven:
'Your Honor, would it trench
On custom here if Blake were given
A seat upon the Bench?'

'Twas done. 'Tom Shannon!' Peter cried.
He came, without ado,
_In forma pauperis_ was tried,
And was acquitted, too!

Stow rose, remarking: 'I concur.'
Lloyd added: 'That suits _us_.
I move Tom's nomination, sir,
Be made unanimous.'

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:05 min read
107

Quick analysis:

Scheme ABAB CDCD EFEF GHGH IJIJ KAKL XMXM ININ OPOP LBLX
Closest metre Iambic tetrameter
Characters 1,181
Words 220
Stanzas 10
Stanza Lengths 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4

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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    "The Gates Ajar" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 30 Mar. 2023. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/1929/the-gates-ajar>.

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