Ambrose Bierce Poems

Ambrose Bierce, an influential American writer, and satirist, penned thought-provoking poems. Known for his dark humor and social commentary, Bierce’s poetic works offer biting critiques and explore themes of war, mortality, and societal contradictions.


by Ambrose Bierce

‘Elegy’ by Ambrose Bierce parodies another famous elegy in order to humorously critique the self-indulgence of such poetic lamentations.

This poem by Ambrose Bierce is a short and sardonic parody of another famous elegy: 'Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard' by Thomas Gray. Using just the first stanza of the poem, he alters the meaning and mood of the poem by changing particular words and rewriting whole lines. The effect completely transforms the reverent elegy into a blithe mocking of Romantic sentimentality. This is a great example of the poet's verse and one of his better-known poems.

The cur foretells the knell of parting day;

The loafing herd winds slowly o’er the lea;

The wise man homewards plods; I only stay

To fiddle-faddle in a minor key.

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