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Tidings Of Good

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

Old Nick from his place of last resort
Came up and looked the world over.
He saw how the grass of the good was short
And the wicked lived in clover.

And he gravely said: 'This is all, all wrong,
And never by me intended.
If to me the power should ever belong
I shall have this thing amended.'

He looked so solemn and good and wise
As he made this observation
That the men who heard him believed their eyes
Instead of his reputation.

So they bruited the matter about, and each
Reported the words as nearly
As memory served-with additional speech
To bring out the meaning clearly.

The consequence was that none understood,
And the wildest rumors started
Of something intended to help the good
And injure the evil-hearted.

Then Robert Morrow was seen to smile
With a bright and lively joyance.
'A man,' said he, 'that is free from guile
Will now be free from annoyance.

'The Featherstones doubtless will now increase
And multiply like the rabbits,
While jailers, deputy sheriffs, police,
And writers will form good habits.

'The widows more easily robbed will be,
And no juror will ever heed 'em,
But open his purse to my eloquent plea
For security, gain, or freedom.'

When Benson heard of the luck of the good
(He was eating his dinner) he muttered:
'It cannot help _me_, for 'tis understood
My bread is already buttered.

'My plats of surveys are all false, they say,
But that cannot greatly matter
To me, for I'll tell the jurors that they
May lick, if they please, my platter.'

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:20 min read

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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