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Ambrose Bierce

“SAFETY-CLUTCH, n. A mechanical device acting automatically to prevent the fall of an elevator, or cage, in case of an accident to the hoisting apparatus.

Once I seen a human ruin In an 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 begun to swim.

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

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


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