Ambrose Bierce

Here you will find the Poem Safety-Clutch of poet Ambrose Bierce


Once I seen a human ruin
 In a elevator-well.
 And his members was bestrewin'
 All the place where he had fell.

 And I says, apostrophisin'
 That uncommon woful wreck:
 "Your position's so surprisin'
 That I tremble for your neck!"

 Then that ruin, smilin' sadly
 And impressive, up and spoke:
 "Well, I wouldn't tremble badly,
 For it's been a fortnight broke."

 Then, for further comprehension 
 Of his attitude, he begs
 I will focus my attention
 On his various arms and legs--

 How they all are contumacious;
 Where they each, respective, lie;
 How one trotter proves ungracious,
 T' other one an alibi.

 These particulars is mentioned
 For to show his dismal state,
 Which I wasn't first intentioned
 To specifical relate.

 None is worser to be dreaded
 That I ever have heard tell
 Than the gent's who there was spreaded
 In that elevator-well.

 Now this tale is allegoric--
 It is figurative all,
 For the well is metaphoric
 And the feller didn't fall.

 I opine it isn't moral
 For a writer-man to cheat,
 And despise to wear a laurel
 As was gotten by deceit.

 For 'tis Politics intended
 By the elevator, mind,
 It will boost a person splendid
 If his talent is the kind.

 Col. Bryan had the talent
 (For the busted man is him)
 And it shot him up right gallant
 Till his head began to swim.

 Then the rope it broke above him
 And he painful came to earth
 Where there's nobody to love him
 For his detrimented worth.

 Though he's living' none would know him,
 Or at leastwise not as such.
 Moral of this woful poem:
 Frequent oil your safety-clutch.