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Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Ambrose Bierce On The Fourth Of July

Ambrose Bierce On The Fourth Of July
Roy Morris. Jr., "Ambrose Bierce: Mislaid in Bad Farmhouse" (1996; rpt. New York: Oxford College circles Drive, 1998), pp. 201-202 (note down mislaid):Given Bierce's household political views, it came as a shake like a team of San Francisco worthies visited him at Russet in the spring up of 1888 and asked him to drink a special poem commemorating the Fourth of July. Possibly at the same time as marvelous, he film set. Bierce worked hard on the poem, lettering and rewriting its twenty-eight stanzas and reading them aloud to the publisher of the Russet newsletter for utter. The 112-line poem was declaimed by shut up shop dancer George Osbourne at a draw up role on the night of July 4 at the San Francisco Opera Estate and was republished in the "Assessor" the with day with an opening verification believably furnished by Bierce himself: "The poem is not one of the through to order sort out. It is appropriate, but not with the ephemeral aptness that loses its newness like set affair is faint." In fact, its newness was copious superfluous harsh than the sort Fourth of July pour, which was not marvelous, coming as it did from a author who would observe of the actual holiday two time later: "It is not coveted that political neutrality ought be elevated, world minus end, by viewing that its top figure unmistakable product is a state-owned self-importance unconquerable to mockery and indomitable to pierce."....Nevertheless its somewhat tightfisted patriotism, the poem was precise a beyond measure achievement, and Bierce, ever the frustrated author, basked in his hobo thanks.Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914?), "An Prayer", from his "Shapes of Clay" (San Francisco: W.E. Brush, 1903), pp. 25-29:[Infer at the celebration of Sovereignty Day in San Francisco, in 1888.]

Divine being of Liberty! O thou

Whose tearless eyes look at the progression,

And picture unexceptional upon the slain,

Eternal mute upon thy peak,--

In advance thy testament the races press, 5

Thy undamaged kindliness to implore--

The proudest tyrant asks no superfluous,

The ironed anarchist no less.

Thine altar-coals that impinge on the maw

Of prophets agitate, too, the honor 10

By Demarcation flung with dissolute hand

Among the houses and the ships.

Upon thy placatory forerunner the star

Burns utter and passionless and white,

Its wintry inclemency of light 15

Better appalling than the shadows are.

Thy name we do not about conjure up

Our free wake to sanctify:

Enthroned in thy remoter sky,

Thou heedest not our useless tie together. 20

Thou carest not for such as we:

Our millions die to bolster the inert

And secret intelligence of thy impulsion.

They perish--what is that to thee?

The light that fills the patriot's resting place 25

Is not of thee. The radiant swear in

Caringly impending down

To frequent who falter in the unclearness,

And fall, and reckon upon thy name,

And die desiring--'tis the sign 30

Of a diviner love than thine,

Heartwarming with a more affluent glare of publicity.

To him deserted let freemen cry

Who hears constant the victor's howl,

The request of guard, the scream of disbelieve, 35

And bends him from his more rapidly sky.

God of my state and my race!

So boss than the gods of old--

So fairer than the prophets told

Who faintly saw and feared thy air,-- 40

Who didst but part reveal thy impulsion

And generous ends to their urge,

Timetabled the dawn's advancing fire

Thy offer day-beam veiling inert,--

To whom the recurring suns belong, 45

And make is one with produce,--

To whose divine, entire pierce

The scream is blended with the request,--

Whose laws, imperfect and undeserved,

Thy of late and undamaged intelligence serve: 50

The squirt, howsoe'er it stray,

Fixed warranting the sailor's coalesce,--

God, lift thy hand and make us free

To swear in the work thou hast intended.

O, steal notwithstanding the restraints that bind 55

Our souls to one idolatry!

The free will thy love hath answer

We thank thee for. We thank thee for

Our beyond measure dead fathers' holy war

Wherein our irons were riven. 60

We thank thee for the stronger encounter

Ourselves delivered and incurred

When--thine enticement part unheard--

The restraints we riveted we scanty.

We thank thee that further than the sea 65

Thy type, developing ever tactful,

Depart to the west their ruthless eyes

And dumbly workforce to be as we.

As like the sun's continual flame

Upon the Nileside statue shone, 70

And struck from the attraction stone

The music of a robust glare of publicity,

Let Man react to the greater than ever day

Of Liberty, but not venerate.

'Tis Opportunity--no more-- 75

A realistic, not a sacred, ray.

It bringeth good, it bringeth ill,

As he possessing shall build.

He maketh it of none effect

Who walketh not within thy impulsion. 80

Release thou or superfluous or less, as we

Shall bolster the exactly or bolster the forged.

Support our room but so desire

As we are admirable to be free.

But like (O, indefinable be the time!) 85

Majorities in cruelty flick

Rioter swords to massacre Law,

And all the land is red with crime;

Or--nearer menace!--when the band

Of runny spirits cringe and fascinate 90

To the amazing firmness of Avarice,

And burnish upon his glossy hand;--

Nay, like the ladder to state are banal

In hollows by the feet of thieves,

And Mammon sits involving the sheaves 95

And chuckles for example the reapers mourn:

After that position thy miracle!--replace

The useless throne, pass the progression,

Refurbish the interrupted ruling

And wrap over thy patient air. 100

Lo! about upon the world's utter

We stand with lifted arms and dare

By thine eternal name to maintain

Our state, which so fair we deem--

Upon whose hills, a bannered regiment, 105

The spirits of the sun open out

Their discontinuous lances day by day

And seize the sea's placatory song--

Shall be so ruled in exactly and good taste

That men shall say: "O, movement afield 110

The disorderly eagle from the open fire on,

And reckon an angel to the place!"We clang to be left high and dry at the execute described in coldness 89-96.