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Matter For Gratitude Post by :Beier Category :Poems Author :Ambrose Bierce Date :March 2011 Read :2840

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Matter For Gratitude

(Especially should we be thankful for having escaped the
ravages of the yellow scourge by which our neighbors have
been so sorely afflicted.--_Governor Stoneman's Thanksgiving

Be pleased, O Lord, to take a people's thanks
That Thine avenging sword has spared our ranks--
That Thou hast parted from our lips the cup
And forced our neighbors' lips to drink it up.
Father of Mercies, with a heart contrite
We thank Thee that Thou goest south to smite,
And sparest San Francisco's loins, to crack
Thy lash on Hermosillo's bleeding back--
That o'er our homes Thine awful angel spread
His wings in vain, and Guaymas weeps instead.

We praise Thee, God, that Yellow Fever here
His horrid banner has not dared to rear,
Consumption's jurisdiction to contest,
Her dagger deep in every second breast!
Catarrh and Asthma and Congestive Chill
Attest Thy bounty and perform Thy will.
These native messengers obey Thy call--
They summon singly, but they summon all.
Not, as in Mexico's impested clime,
Can Yellow Jack commit recurring crime.
We thank Thee that Thou killest all the time.

Thy tender mercies, Father, never end:
Upon all heads Thy blessings still descend,
Though their forms vary. Here the sown seeds yield
Abundant grain that whitens all the field--
There the smit corn stands barren on the plain,
Thrift reaps the straw and Famine gleans in vain.
Here the fat priest to the contented king
Points out the contrast and the people sing--
There mothers eat their offspring. Well, at least
Thou hast provided offspring for the feast.
An earthquake here rolls harmless through the land,
And Thou art good because the chimneys stand--
There templed cities sink into the sea,
And damp survivors, howling as they flee,
Skip to the hills and hold a celebration
In honor of Thy wise discrimination.

O God, forgive them all, from Stoneman down,
Thy smile who construe and expound Thy frown,
And fall with saintly grace upon their knees
To render thanks when Thou dost only sneeze.

(The end)
Ambrose Bierce's poem: Matter For Gratitude

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Three Kinds Of A Rogue Three Kinds Of A Rogue

Three Kinds Of A Rogue
ISharon, ambitious of immortal shame,Fame's dead-wall daubed with his illustrious name--Served in the Senate, for our sins, his time,Each word a folly and each vote a crime;Law for our governance well skilled to makeBy knowledge gained in study how to break;Yet still by the presiding eye ignored,Which only sought him when too loud he snored.Auspicious thunder!--when he woke to voteHe stilled his own to cut his country's throat;That rite performed, fell off again to sleep,While statesmen ages dead awoke to weep!For sedentary service all unfit,By lying long disqualified to sit,Wasting below as he decayed aloft,His seat grown harder as his brain

Two Statesmen Two Statesmen

Two Statesmen
In that fair city by the inland sea,Where Blaine unhived his Presidential bee,Frank Pixley's meeting with George Gorham sing,Celestial muse, and what events did springFrom the encounter of those mighty sonsOf thunder, and of slaughter, and of guns.Great Gorham first, his yearning tooth to sateAnd give him stomach for the day's debate,Entering a restaurant, with eager mien,Demands an ounce of bacon and a bean.The trembling waiter, by the statesman's eyeSmitten with terror, hastens to comply;Nor chairs nor tables can his speed retard,For famine's fixed and horrible regardHe takes for menace. As he shaking flew,Lo! the portentous Pixley heaved in view!Before him