Ambrose Bierce 1842 (Meigs County) – 1914 (Chihuahua)
Dudley, great placeman, man of mark and note,
Worthy of honor from a feeble pen
Blunted in service of all true, good men,
You serve the Lord-in courses, _table d'hote:
Au, naturel,_ as well as _a la Nick
'Eat and be thankful, though it make you sick.'
O, truly pious caterer, forbear
To push the Saviour and Him crucified
_(Brochette_ you'd call it) into their inside
Who're all unused to such ambrosial fare.
The stomach of the soul makes quick revulsion
Of aught that it has taken on compulsion.
I search the Scriptures, but I do not find
That e'er the Spirit beats with angry wings
For entrance to the heart, but sits and sings
To charm away the scruples of the mind.
It says: 'Receive me, please; I'll not compel'
Though if you don't you will go straight to Hell!
Well, that's compulsion, you will say. 'T is true:
We cower timidly beneath the rod
Lifted in menace by an angry God,
But won't endure it from an ape like you.
Detested simian with thumb prehensile,
Switch _me_ and I would brain you with my pencil!
Face you the Throne, nor dare to turn your back
On its transplendency to flog some wight
Who gropes and stumbles in the infernal night
Your ugly shadow lays along his track.
O, Thou who from the Temple scourged the sin,
Behold what rascals try to scourge it in!
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