Ambrose Bierce

A
Ambrose Bierce
An Inscription
For a Statue of Napoleon A conqueror as provident as brave,
He robbed the cradle to supply the grave.
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The Day of Wrath / Dies Iræ
Day of Satan's painful duty!
Earth shall vanish, hot and sooty;
So says Virtue, so says Beauty.

Ah! what terror shall be shaping
When the Judge the truth's undraping—
Cats from every bag escaping!
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The New Decalogue
Have but one God: thy knees were sore
If bent in prayer to three or four.

Adore no images save those
The coinage of thy country shows.

Take not the Name in vain. Direct
Thy swearing unto some effect.

Thy hand from Sunday work be held—
Work not at all unless compelled.
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The Statesmen
How blest the land that counts among
Her sons so many good and wise,
To execute great feats of tongue
When troubles rise.

Behold them mounting every stump,
By speech our liberty to guard.
Observe their courage—see them jump,
And come down hard!
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To the Bartholdi Statue
O Liberty, God-gifted—
Young and immortal maid—
In your high hand uplifted,
The torch declares your trade.

Its crimson menace, flaming
Upon the sea and shore,
Is, trumpet-like, proclaiming
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With a Book
Words shouting, singing, smiling, frowning—
Sense lacking.
Ah, nothing, more obscure than Browning,
Save blacking.

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