A Retort

As vicious women think all men are knaves,
And shrew-bound gentlemen discourse of slaves;
As reeling drunkards judge the world unsteady
And idlers swear employers ne'er get ready
Thieves that the constable stole all they had,
The mad that all except themselves are mad;
So, in another's clear escutcheon shown,
Barnes rails at stains reflected from his own;
Prates of 'docility,' nor feels the dark
Ring round his neck-the Ralston collar mark.
Back, man, to studies interrupted once,
Ere yet the rogue had merged into the dunce.
Back, back to Yale! and, grown with years discreet,
The course a virgin's lust cut short, complete.
Go drink again at the Pierian pool,
And learn-at least to better play the fool.
No longer scorn the draught, although the font,
Unlike Pactolus, waters not Belmont.

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Ambrose Bierce

Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce was an American editorialist, journalist, short story writer, fabulist, and satirist. more…

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"A Retort" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2019. Web. 16 Sep. 2019. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/1657/a-retort>.

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