To the Bartholdi Statue

By Ambrose Bierce 1842–1914 Ambrose Bierce
O Liberty, God-gifted—
      Young and immortal maid—
In your high hand uplifted,
      The torch declares your trade.

Its crimson menace, flaming
      Upon the sea and shore,
Is, trumpet-like, proclaiming
      That Law shall be no more.

Austere incendiary,
      We're blinking in the light;
Where is your customary
      Grenade of dynamite?

Where are your staves and switches
      For men of gentle birth?
Your mask and dirk for riches?
      Your chains for wit and worth?

Perhaps, you've brought the halters
      You used in the old days,
When round religion's altars
      You stabled Cromwell's bays?

Behind you, unsuspected,
      Have you the axe, fair wench,
Wherewith you once collected
      A poll-tax for the French?

America salutes you—
      Preparing to "disgorge."
Take everything that suits you,
      And marry Henry George.

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Poet Ambrose Bierce 1842–1914

Subjects History & Politics, Social Commentaries

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 Ambrose  Bierce


Ambrose Bierce's literary reputation is based primarily on his short stories about the Civil War and the supernatural—a body of work that makes up a relatively small part of his total output. Often compared to the tales of Edgar Allan Poe, these stories share an attraction to death in its more bizarre forms, featuring depictions of mental deterioration, uncanny, otherworldly manifestations, and expressions of the horror of . . .

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SUBJECT History & Politics, Social Commentaries

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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