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To 'Colonel' Dan. Burns

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



They say, my lord, that you're a Warwick. Well,
The title's an absurd one, I believe:
You make no kings, you have no kings to sell,
Though really 'twere easy to conceive
You stuffing half-a-dozen up your sleeve.
No, you're no Warwick, skillful from the shell
To hatch out sovereigns. On a mare's nest, maybe,
You'd incubate a little jackass baby.

I fancy, too, that it is naught but stuff,
This 'power' that you're said to be 'behind
The throne.' I'm sure 'twere accurate enough
To represent you simply as inclined
To push poor Markham (ailing in his mind
And body, which were never very tough)
Round in an invalid's wheeled chair. Such menial
Employment to low natures is congenial.

No, Dan, you're an impostor every way:
A human bubble, for 'the earth,' you know,
'Hath bubbles, as the water hath.' Some day
Some careless hand will prick your film, and O,
How utterly you'll vanish! Daniel, throw
(As fallen Woolsey might to Cromwell say)
Your curst ambition to the pigs-though truly
'Twould make them greater pigs, and more unruly.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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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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