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Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce (Амброз Гвиннет Бирс)

A Wreath of Immortelles

Judge Sawyer, whom in vain the people tried
To push from power, here is laid aside.
Death only from the bench could ever start
The sluggish load of his immortal part.


For those this mausoleum is erected
Who Stanford to the Upper House elected.
Their luck is less or their promotion slower,
For, dead, they were elected to the Lower.


Rash mortal! stay thy feet and look around--
This vacant tomb as yet is holy ground;
But soon, alas! Jim Fair will occupy
These premises--then, holiness, good-bye!


George Perry here lies stiff and stark,
With stone at foot and stone at head.
His heart was dark, his mind was dark--
"Ignorant ass!" the people said.

Not ignorant but skilled, alas,
In all the secrets of his trade:
He knew more ways to be an ass
Than any ass that ever brayed.

Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce's other poems:
  1. The New Decalogue
  2. Rimer
  3. Decalogue
  4. With a Book
  5. To the Bartholdi Statue

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