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The Statesmen

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



How blest the land that counts among
  Her sons so many good and wise,
  To execute great feats of tongue
  When troubles rise.

  Behold them mounting every stump,
  By speech our liberty to guard.
  Observe their courage--see them jump,
  And come down hard!

  'Walk up, walk up!' each cries aloud,
  'And learn from me what you must do
  To turn aside the thunder cloud,
  The earthquake too.

  'Beware the wiles of yonder quack
  Who stuffs the ears of all that pass.
  I--I alone can show that black
  Is white as grass.'

  They shout through all the day and break
  The silence of the night as well.
  They'd make--I wish they'd go and make--
  Of Heaven a Hell.

  A advocates free silver, B
  Free trade and C free banking laws.
  Free board, clothes, lodging would from me
  Win wamr applause.

  Lo, D lifts up his voice: 'You see
  The single tax on land would fall
  On all alike.' More evenly
  No tax at all.

  'With paper money,' bellows E,
  'We'll all be rich as lords.' No doubt--
  And richest of the lot will be
  The chap without.

  As many 'cures' as addle-wits
  Who know not what the ailment is!
  Meanwhile the patient foams and spits
  Like a gin fizz.

  Alas, poor Body Politic,
  Your fate is all too clearly read:
  To be not altogether quick,
  Nor very dead.

  You take your exercise in squirms,
  Your rest in fainting fits between.
  'Tis plain that your disorder's worms--
  Worms fat and lean.

  Worm Capital, Worm Labor dwell
  Within your maw and muscle's scope.
  Their quarrels make your life a Hell,
  Your death a hope.

  God send you find not such an end
  To ills however sharp and huge!
  God send you convalesce! God send
  You vermifuge.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:30 min read
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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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