Ambrose Bierce
Four Candidates For Senator by Ambrose Bierce

Four Candidates For Senator by Ambrose Bierce

To flatter your way to the goad of your hope,O plausible Mr. Perkins,You'll need ten tons of the softest soapAnd butter a thousand firkins.The soap you could put to a better ...

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In Contumaciam by Ambrose Bierce

In Contumaciam by Ambrose Bierce

Och! Father McGlynn,Ye appear to be inFer a bit of a bout wid the Pope,An' there's divil a doubtBut he's knockin' ye outWhile ye're hangin' onto the rope.An' soon ye'll lave ...

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Four Of A Kind by Ambrose Bierce

Four Of A Kind by Ambrose Bierce

ROBERT F. MORROWDear man! although a stranger and a foeTo soft affection's humanizing glow,Although untaught how manly hearts may throbWith more desires than the desire to ...

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Ad Cattonum by Ambrose Bierce

Ad Cattonum by Ambrose Bierce

I know not, Mr. Catton, who you are,Nor very clearly why, but you go farTo show that you are many things besideA Chilean Consul with a tempting hide,But what they are I hardly ...

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An ‘Exhibit’ by Ambrose Bierce

An ‘Exhibit’ by Ambrose Bierce

Goldenson hanged! Well, Heaven forbidThat I should smile above him:Though truth to tell, I never didExactly love him.It can't be wrong, though, to rejoiceThat his unpleasing ...

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Aspirants Three by Ambrose Bierce

Aspirants Three by Ambrose Bierce

DRAMATIS PERSONAE._QUICK_:DE YOUNG _a Brother to Mushrooms__DEAD_:SWIFT _an Heirloom_ESTEE _a Relic__IMMORTALS_:THE SPIRIT OF BROKEN HOPES. THE AUTHOR._MISCELLANEOUS_:A TROUPE ...

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At The ‘National Encampment’ by Ambrose Bierce

At The ‘National Encampment’ by Ambrose Bierce

You 're grayer than one would have thought you:The climate you have over thereIn the East has apparently brought youDisorders affecting the hair,Which-pardon me-seems a thought ...

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The Death Of Grant by Ambrose Bierce

The Death Of Grant by Ambrose Bierce

Father! whose hard and cruel lawIs part of thy compassion's plan,Thy works presumptuously we scanFor what the prophets say they saw.Unbidden still the awful slopeWalling us in ...

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Hospitality by Ambrose Bierce

Hospitality by Ambrose Bierce

Why ask me, Gastrogogue, to dine(Unless to praise your rascal wine)Yet never ask some luckless sinnerWho needs, as I do not, a dinner?

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Haec Fabula Docet by Ambrose Bierce

Haec Fabula Docet by Ambrose Bierce

A rat who'd gorged a box of baneAnd suffered an internal pain,Came from his hole to die (the labelRequired it if the rat were able)And found outside his habitatA limpid stream. ...

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Homo Podunkensis by Ambrose Bierce

Homo Podunkensis by Ambrose Bierce

As the poor ass that from his paddock straysMight sound abroad his field-companions' praise,Recounting volubly their well-bred leer,Their port impressive and their wealth of ...

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In High Life by Ambrose Bierce

In High Life by Ambrose Bierce

Sir Impycu Lackland, from over the sea,Has led to the altar Miss Bloatie Bondee.The wedding took place at the Church of St. Blare,The fashion, the rank and the wealth were all ...

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In His Hand by Ambrose Bierce

In His Hand by Ambrose Bierce

De Young (in Chicago the story is told)'Took his life in his hand,' like a warrior bold,And stood before Buckley-who thought him behind,For Buckley, the man-eating monster is ...

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In The Binnacle by Ambrose Bierce

In The Binnacle by Ambrose Bierce

The Church's compass, if you please,Has two or three (or more) degreesOf variation,And many a soul has gone to griefOn this or that or t'other reefThrough faith unreckoning or ...

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In Memoriam by Ambrose Bierce

In Memoriam by Ambrose Bierce

Beauty (they called her) wasn't a maidOf many things in the world afraid.She wasn't a maid who turned and fledAt sight of a mouse, alive or dead.She wasn't a maid a man could ...

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Ignis Fatuus by Ambrose Bierce

Ignis Fatuus by Ambrose Bierce

Weep, weep, each loyal partisan,For Buckley, king of hearts,A most accomplished man, a manOf parts-of foreign parts.Long years he ruled with gentle sway,Nor grew his glory ...

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A ‘scion Of Nobility’ by Ambrose Bierce

A ‘scion Of Nobility’ by Ambrose Bierce

Come, sisters, weep!-our Baron dear,Alas! has run away.If always we had kept him hereHe had not gone astray.Painter and grainer it were vainTo say he was, before,And if he were, ...

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In Upper San Francisco by Ambrose Bierce

In Upper San Francisco by Ambrose Bierce

I heard that Heaven was bright and fair,And politicians dwelt not there.'Twas said by knowing ones that theyWere in the Elsewhere-so to say.So, waking from my last long sleep,I ...

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An Anarchist by Ambrose Bierce

An Anarchist by Ambrose Bierce

False to his art and to the high commandGod laid upon him, Markham's rebel handBeats all in vain the harp he touched before:It yields a jingle and it yields no more.No more the ...

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An Imposter by Ambrose Bierce

An Imposter by Ambrose Bierce

Must you, Carnegie, evermore explainYour worth, and all the reasons give againWhy black and red are similarly white,And you and God identically right?Still must our ears without ...

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Arboriculture by Ambrose Bierce

Arboriculture by Ambrose Bierce

You may say they won't grow, and say they'll decay-Say it again till you're sick of the say,Get up on your ear, blow your blaring bazooAnd hire a hall to proclaim it, and youMay ...

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An Idler by Ambrose Bierce

An Idler by Ambrose Bierce

Who told Creed Haymond he was witty?-whoHad nothing better in this world to do?Could no greased pig's appeal to his embraceKindle his ardor for the friendly chase?Did no dead ...

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The Cynic’s Bequest by Ambrose Bierce

The Cynic’s Bequest by Ambrose Bierce

In that fair city, Ispahan,There dwelt a problematic man,Whose angel never was released,Who never once let out his beast,But kept, through all the seasons' round,Silence ...

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Diagnosis by Ambrose Bierce

Diagnosis by Ambrose Bierce

Cried Allen Forman: 'Doctor, prayCompose my spirits' strife:O what may be my chances, say,Of living all my life?'For lately I have dreamed of highAnd hempen dissolution!O ...

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Authority by Ambrose Bierce

Authority by Ambrose Bierce

'Authority, authority!' they shoutWhose minds, not large enough to hold a doubt,Some chance opinion ever entertain,By dogma billeted upon their brain.'Ha!' they exclaim with ...

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De Young-A Prophecy by Ambrose Bierce

De Young-A Prophecy by Ambrose Bierce

Running for Senator with clumsy pace,He stooped so low, to win at least a place,That Fortune, tempted by a mark so droll,Sprang in an kicked him to the winning pole.

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Bereavement by Ambrose Bierce

Bereavement by Ambrose Bierce

A Countess (so they tell the tale)Who dwelt of old in Arno's vale,Where ladies, even of high degree,Know more of love than of A.B.C,Came once with a prodigious bribeUnto the ...

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An Average by Ambrose Bierce

An Average by Ambrose Bierce

I ne'er could be entirely fondOf any maiden who's a blonde,And no brunette that e'er I sawHad charms my heart's wholewarmth to draw.Yet sure no girl was ever madeJust half of ...

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Bats In Sunshine by Ambrose Bierce

Bats In Sunshine by Ambrose Bierce

Well, Mr. Kemble, you are called, I think,A great divine, and I'm a great profane.You as a Congregationalist blinkSome certain truths that I esteem a gain,And dropp them in the ...

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Bimetalism by Ambrose Bierce

Bimetalism by Ambrose Bierce

Ben Bulger was a silver man,Though not a mine had he:He thought it were a noble planTo make the coinage free.'There hain't for years been sech a time,'Said Ben to his bull ...

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Cain by Ambrose Bierce

Cain by Ambrose Bierce

Lord, shed thy light upon his desert path,And gild his branded brow, that no man spillHis forfeit life to balk thy holy willThat spares him for the ripening of wrath.Already, ...

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Johndonkey by Ambrose Bierce

Johndonkey by Ambrose Bierce

Thus the poor ass whose appetite has ne'erKnown than the thistle any sweeter fareThinks all the world eats thistles. Thus the clown,The wit and Mentor of the country town,Grins ...

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Beecher by Ambrose Bierce

Beecher by Ambrose Bierce

So, Beecher's dead. His was a great soul, tooGreat as a giant organ is, whose reedsHold in them all the souls of all the creedsThat man has ever taught and never knew.When on ...

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Mr. Sheets by Ambrose Bierce

Mr. Sheets by Ambrose Bierce

The Devil stood before the gateOf Heaven. He had a single mate:Behind him, in his shadow, slunkClay Sheets in a perspiring funk.'Saint Peter, see this season ticket,'Said Satan, ...

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By A Defeated Litigant by Ambrose Bierce

By A Defeated Litigant by Ambrose Bierce

Liars for witnesses, for lawyers brutesWho lose their tempers to retrieve their suits,Cowards for jurors, and for judge a clownWho ne'er took up the law, yet lays it ...

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Mr. Fink’s Debating Donkey by Ambrose Bierce

Mr. Fink’s Debating Donkey by Ambrose Bierce

Of a person known as Peters I will humbly crave your leaveAn unusual adventure into narrative to weaveMr. William Perry Peters, of the town of Muscatel,A public educator and an ...

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California by Ambrose Bierce

California by Ambrose Bierce

Why should he not have been allowedTo thread with peaceful feet the crowdWhich filled that Christian street?The Decalogue he had observed,From Faith in Jesus had not swerved,And ...

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Democracy by Ambrose Bierce

Democracy by Ambrose Bierce

Let slaves and subjects with unvaried psalmsBefore their sovereign execute salaams,The freeman scorns one idol to adoreTom, Dick and Harry and himself are four.

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The Passing Show by Ambrose Bierce

The Passing Show by Ambrose Bierce

II know not if it was a dream. I viewedA city where the restless multitude,Between the eastern and the western deepHad reared gigantic fabrics, strong and rude.Colossal palaces ...

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Codex Honoris by Ambrose Bierce

Codex Honoris by Ambrose Bierce

Jacob Jacobs, of Oakland, he swore:'Dat Solomon Martin-I'll haf his gore!'Solomon Martin, of Oakland, he said:'Of Shacob Shacobs der bleed I vill shed!'So they met, with seconds ...

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Detected by Ambrose Bierce

Detected by Ambrose Bierce

In Congress once great Mowther shone,Debating weighty matters,Now into an asylum thrown,He vacuously chatters.If in that legislative hallHis wisdom still he 'd vented,It never ...

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Dennis Kearney by Ambrose Bierce

Dennis Kearney by Ambrose Bierce

Your influence, my friend, has gathered headTo east and west its tides encroaching spread.There'll be, on all God's foot-stool, when they meet,No clean spot left for God to set ...

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An Interpretation by Ambrose Bierce

An Interpretation by Ambrose Bierce

Now Lonergan appears upon the boards,And Truth and Error sheathe their lingual swords.No more in wordy warfare to engage,The commentators bow before the stage,And bookworms, ...

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Indicted by Ambrose Bierce

Indicted by Ambrose Bierce

Dear Bruner, once we had a little talk(That is to say, 'twas I did all the talking)About the manner of your moral walk:How devious the trail you made in stalking,On level ...

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Incurable by Ambrose Bierce

Incurable by Ambrose Bierce

From pride, joy, hate, greed, melancholyFrom any kind of vice, or folly,Bias, propensity or passionThat is in prevalence and fashion,Save one, the sufferer or loverMay, by the ...

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Laus Lucis by Ambrose Bierce

Laus Lucis by Ambrose Bierce

Each to his taste: some men prefer to playAt mystery, as others at piquet.Some sit in mystic meditation, someParade the street with tambourine and drum.One studies to decipher ...

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Industrial Discontent by Ambrose Bierce

Industrial Discontent by Ambrose Bierce

As time rolled on the whole world came to beA desolation and a darksome curse,And some one said: 'The changes that you seeIn the fair frame of things, from bad to worse,Are ...

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For Tat by Ambrose Bierce

For Tat by Ambrose Bierce

O, heavenly powers! will wonders never cease?Hair upon dogs and feathers upon geese!The boys in mischief and the pigs in mire!The drinking water wet! the coal on fire!In ...

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James L. Flood by Ambrose Bierce

James L. Flood by Ambrose Bierce

As oft it happens in the youth of dayThat mists obscure the sun's imperfect ray,Who, as he's mounting to the dome's extreme,Smites and dispels them with a steeper beam,So you ...

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Magnanimity by Ambrose Bierce

Magnanimity by Ambrose Bierce

'To the will of the people we loyally bow!'That's the minority shibboleth now.O noble antagonists, answer me flatWhat would you do if you didn't do that?

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