by: Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914)
to his art and to the high command
- God laid upon him, Demagogo's hand
- Beats all in vain the harp he thrilled before:
- It yields a jingle and it yields no more.
- No more the strings beneath his finger-tips
- Sing harmonies divine. No more his lips,
- Touched with a living coal from sacred fires,
- Lead the sweet chorus of the golden wires.
- The voice is raucous and the phrases squeak;
- They labor, they complain, they sweat, they reek!
- The more the wayward, disobedient song
- Errs from the right to advocate the wrong,
- More diligently still the singer strums,
- To drown the horrid sound, with all his thumbs.
- Gods, what a spectacle! The angels lean
- Out of high Heaven to view the sorry scene,
- And Israfel, "whose heart-strings are a lute,"
- Though now compassion makes their music mute,
- Among the weeping company appears,
- Pearls in his eyes and cotton in his ears.
POEMS BY AMBROSE BIERCE
"An Anarchist" is reprinted
from The Collected Works of Ambrose Bierce Vol. IV: Shapes
of Clay. Ambrose Bierce. New York: Neale Publishing Company,