Four Candidates For Senator

Poem 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 soap
And butter a thousand firkins.
The soap you could put to a better use
In washing your hands of ambition
Ere the butter's used for cooking your goose
To a beautiful brown condition.


'The Railroad can't run Stanford.' That is so
The tail can't curl the pig; but then, you know,
Inside the vegetable-garden's pale
The pig will eat more cabbage than the tail.



When Sargent struts by all the lawmakers say:
'Right-left!' It is fair to infer
The right will get left, nor polar the day
When he makes that thing to occur.

Not so, not so, 'tis a joke, that cry
Foolish and dull and small:
He so bores them for votes that they mean to imply
He's a drill-Sargent, that is all.



Gods! what a sight! Astride McClure's broad back
Estee jogs round the Senatorial track,
The crowd all undecided, as they pass,
Whether to cheer the man or cheer the ass.
They stop: the man to lower his feet is seen
And the tired beast, withdrawing from between,
Mounts, as they start again, the biped's neck,
And scarce the crowd can say which one's on deck.

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Alone

In contact, lo! the flint and steel,
By sharp and flame, the thought reveal
That he the metal, she the stone,
Had cherished secretly alone.

The Day Of Wrath / Dies Iræ

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

Weather

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.

Christian

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

At The Close Of The Canvass

'Twas a Venerable Person, whom I met one Sunday morning,
All appareled as a prophet of a melancholy sect;
And in a Jeremiad of objurgatory warning

Decalogue

Thou shalt no God but me adore:
'Twere too expensive to have more.