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A poem by Ambrose Bierce

Political Economy

Title:     Political Economy
Author: Ambrose Bierce [More Titles by Bierce]

"I beg you to note," said a Man to a Goose,
As he plucked from her bosom the plumage all loose,
"That pillows and cushions of feathers and beds
As warm as maids' hearts and as soft as their heads,
Increase of life's comforts the general sum--
Which raises the standard of living." "Come, come,"
The Goose said, impatiently, "tell me or cease,
How that is of any advantage to geese."
"What, what!" said the man--"you are very obtuse!
Consumption no profit to those who produce?
No good to accrue to Supply from a grand
Progressive expansion, all round, of Demand?
Luxurious habits no benefit bring
To those who purvey the luxurious thing?
Consider, I pray you, my friend, how the growth
Of luxury promises--" "Promises," quoth
The sufferer, "what?--to what course is it pledged
To pay me for being so often defledged?"
"Accustomed"--this notion the plucker expressed
As he ripped out a handful of down from her breast--
"To one kind of luxury, people soon yearn
For others and ever for others in turn;
And the man who to-night on your feathers will rest,
His mutton or bacon or beef to digest,
His hunger to-morrow will wish to assuage
By dining on goose with a dressing of sage."

[The end]
Ambrose Bierce's poem: Political Economy