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Ambrose Bierce

(24 June 1842 - 26 December 1913 / Horse Cave Creek, Ohio)

A Career In Letters


When Liberverm resigned the chair
Of This or That in college, where
For two decades he'd gorged his brain
With more than it could well contain,
In order to relieve the stress
He took to writing for the press.
Then Pondronummus said, 'I'll help
This mine of talent to devel'p;'
And straightway bought with coin and credit
The _Thundergust_ for him to edit.

The great man seized the pen and ink
And wrote so hard he couldn't think;
Ideas grew beneath his fist
And flew like falcons from his wrist.
His pen shot sparks all kinds of ways
Till all the rivers were ablaze,
And where the coruscations fell
Men uttered words I dare not spell.

Eftsoons with corrugated brow,
Wet towels bound about his pow,
Locked legs and failing appetite,
He thought so hard he couldn't write.
His soaring fancies, chickenwise,
Came home to roost and wouldn't rise.
With dimmer light and milder heat
His goose-quill staggered o'er the sheet,
Then dragged, then stopped; the finish came-
He couldn't even write his name.
The _Thundergust_ in three short weeks
Had risen, roared, and split its cheeks.
Said Pondronummus, 'How unjust!
The storm I raised has laid my dust!'

When, Moneybagger, you have aught
Invested in a vein of thought,
Be sure you've purchased not, instead,
That salted claim, a bookworm's head.

Submitted: Thursday, September 27, 2012

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