Fallen

Poem By Ambrose Bierce

O, hadst thou died when thou wert great,
When at thy feet a nation knelt
To sob the gratitude it felt
And thank the Saviour of the State,
Gods might have envied thee thy fate!

Then was the laurel round thy brow,
And friend and foe spoke praise of thee,
While all our hearts sang victory.
Alas! thou art too base to bow
To hide the shame that brands it now.

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By sharp and flame, the thought reveal
That he the metal, she the stone,
Had cherished secretly alone.

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Day of Satan's painful duty! Dies iræ! dies illa!
Earth shall vanish, hot and sooty; Solvet sæclum in favilla

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Once I dipt into the future far as human eye could see,
And I saw the Chief Forecaster, dead as any one can be--
Dead and damned and shut in Hades as a liar from his birth,
With a record of unreason seldome paralleled on earth.

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I dreamed I stood upon a hill, and, lo!
The godly multitudes walked to and fro
Beneath, in Sabbath garments fitly clad,

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'Twas a Venerable Person, whom I met one Sunday morning,
All appareled as a prophet of a melancholy sect;
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Thou shalt no God but me adore:
'Twere too expensive to have more.