The Subdued Editor

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

Pope-choker Pixley sat in his den
A-chewin' upon his quid.
He thought it was Leo Thirteen, and then
He bit it intenser, he did.

The amber which overflew from the cud
Like rivers which burst out of bounds
'Twas peculiar grateful to think it blood
A-gushin' from Papal wounds.

A knockin' was heard uponto the door
Where some one a-waitin' was.
'Come in,' said the shedder of priestly gore,
Arrestin' to once his jaws.

The person which entered was curly of hair
And smilin' as ever you see;
His eyes was blue, and uncommon fair
Was his physiognomee.

And yet there was some'at remarkable grand
And the editor says as he looks:
'Your Height' (it was Highness, you understand,
That he meant, but he spoke like books)

'Your Height, I am in. I'm the editor man
Of this paper-which is to say,
I'm the owner, too, and it's alway ran
In the independentest way!

'Not a damgaloot can interfere,
A-shapin' my course for me:
This paper's (and nothing can make it veer)
Pixleian in policee!'

'It's little to me,' said the sunny youth,
'If journals is better or worse
Where I am to home they won't keep, in truth,
The climate is that perverse.

'I've come, howsomever, your mind to light
With a more superior fire:
You'll have naught hencefor'ard to do but write,
While I sets by and inspire.

'We'll make it hot all round, bedad!'
And his laughture was loud and free.
'The devil!' cried Pixley, surpassin' mad.
'Exactly, my friend-that's me.'

So he took a chair and a feather fan,
And he sets and sets and sets,
Inspirin' that humbled editor man,
Which sweats and sweats and sweats!

All unavailin' his struggles be,
And it's, O, a weepin' sight
To see a great editor bold and free
Reducted to sech a plight!

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

Modified on March 05, 2023

1:36 min read

Quick analysis:

Closest metre Iambic tetrameter
Characters 1,650
Words 313
Stanzas 12
Stanza Lengths 4, 4, 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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