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A poem by Ambrose Bierce

A Jack-At-All-Views

Title:     A Jack-At-All-Views
Author: Ambrose Bierce [More Titles by Bierce]

So, Estee, you are still alive! I thought
That you had died and were a blessed ghost
I know at least your coffin once was bought
With Railroad money; and 'twas said by most
Historians that Stanford made a boast
The seller "threw you in." That goes for naught--
Man takes delight in fancy's fine inventions,
And woman too, 'tis said, if they are French ones.

Do you remember, Estee--ah, 'twas long
And long ago!--how fierce you grew and hot
When anything impeded the straight, strong,
Wild sweep of the great billow you had got
Atop of, like a swimmer bold? Great Scott!
How fine your wavemanship! How loud your song
Of "Down with railroads!" When the wave subsided
And left you stranded you were much divided.

Then for a time you were content to wade
The waters of the "robber barons'" moat.
To fetch, and carry was your humble trade,
And ferry Stanford over in a boat,
Well paid if he bestowed the kindly groat
And spoke you fair and called you pretty maid.
And when his stomach seemed a bit unsteady
You got your serviceable basin ready.

Strange man! how odd to see you, smug and spruce,
There at Chicago, burrowed in a Chair,
Not made to measure and a deal too loose,
And see you lift your little arm and swear
Democracy shall be no more! If it's a fair
And civil question, and not too abstruse,
Were you elected as a "robber baron,"
Or as a Communist whose teeth had hair on?

[The end]
Ambrose Bierce's poem: Jack-At-All-Views