by: Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914)
world is dull," I cried in my despair:
- "Its myths and fables are no longer fair.
- "Roll back thy centuries, O Father Time:
- To Greece transport me in her golden prime.
- "Give back the beautiful old gods again--
- The sportive Nymphs, the Dryad's jocund train,
- "Pan piping on his reeds, the Naiades,
- The Sirens singing by the sleepy seas.
- "Nay, show me but a Gorgon and I'll dare
- To lift mine eyes to her peculiar hair
- "(The fatal horrors of her snaky pate,
- That stiffen men into a stony state)
- "And die -- becoming as my spirit flies,
- A noble statue of myself, life size."
- Straight as I spoke I heard the voice of Fate:
- "Look up, my lad, the Gorgon sisters wait."
- Lifting my eyes, I saw Medusa stand,
- Stheno, Euryale, on either hand.
- I gazed unpetrified and unappalled--
- The girls had aged and were entirely bald!
POEMS BY AMBROSE BIERCE
"Tempora Mutantur" is
reprinted from The Collected Works of Ambrose Bierce Vol.
IV: Shapes of Clay. Ambrose Bierce. New York: Neale Publishing