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The Devil's Dictionary:    

Definition of Safety Clutch

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

Devil's Dictionarydefinition from:
The Devil's Dictionary
by Ambrose Bierce, 1911


Last updated: 9/3/2011 12:48:30