At The Eleventh Hour
Poem By Ambrose Bierce
As through the blue expanse he skims
On joyous wings, the late
Frank Hutchings overtakes Miss Sims,
Both bound for Heaven's high gate.
In life they loved and (God knows why
A lover so should sue)
He slew her, on the gallows high
Died pious-and they flew.
Her pinions were bedraggled, soiled
And torn as by a gale,
While his were bright-all freshly oiled
The feathers of his tail.
Her visage, too, was stained and worn
And menacing and grim;
His sweet and mild-you would have sworn
That _she_ had murdered _him_.
When they'd arrived before the gate
He said to her: 'My dear,
'Tis hard once more to separate,
But _you_ can't enter here.
'For you, unluckily, were sent
So quickly to the grave
You had no notice to repent,
Nor time your soul to save.'
''Tis true,' said she, 'and I should wail
In Hell even now, but I
Have lingered round the county jail
To see a Christian die.'