The Great War

from Retrogression and Other Poems: Electronic Edition

On a Too Prolific Essayist

THE cruellest torture that a man can know,

Passing all Torquemada's racks, is said

To be the ceaseless, measured, leisured, slow

Drip-drop of water on the victim's head.

Surely it were a torment like in kind,

If in degree less maddening, to sit still

Under the leakage of this good man's mind,

The eternal trickle of this blameless quill.