In The Devil’s Dictionary (1906), Ambrose Bierce defined “Decide” as “to succumb to the preponderance of one set of influences over another set.” What followed is this short verse:
A leaf was riven from a tree,
“I mean to fall to earth,” said he.
The west wind, rising, made him veer.
“Eastward,” said he, “I now shall steer.”
The east wind rose with greater force.
Said he, “‘Twere wise to change my course.”
With equal power they contend.
He said, “My judgment I suspend.”
Down died the winds; the leaf, elate,
Cried: “I’ve decided to fall straight.”
“First thoughts are best?” That’s not the moral;
Just choose your own and we’ll not quarrel.
Howe’er your choice may chance to fall,
You’ll have no hand in it at all.