Authority

Ambrose Bierce 1842 (Meigs County) – 1914 (Chihuahua)

'Authority, authority!' they shout
Whose minds, not large enough to hold a doubt,
Some chance opinion ever entertain,
By dogma billeted upon their brain.
'Ha!' they exclaim with choreatic glee,
'Here's Dabster if you won't give in to me
Dabster, sir, Dabster, to whom all men look
With reverence!' The fellow wrote a book.
It matters not that many another wight
Has thought more deeply, could more wisely write
On t' other side-that you yourself possess
Knowledge where Dabster did but faintly guess.
God help you if ambitious to persuade
The fools who take opinion ready-made
And 'recognize authorities.' Be sure
No tittle of their folly they'll abjure
For all that you can say. But write it down,
Publish and die and get a great renown
Faith! how they'll snap it up, misread, misquote,
Swear that they had a hand in all you wrote,
And ride your fame like monkeys on a goat!

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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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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