'Twas like a Maelstrom, with a notch

‘Twas like a Maelstrom, with a notch,
That nearer, every Day,
Kept narrowing its boiling Wheel
Until the Agony

Toyed coolly with the final inch
Of your delirious Hem
And you dropt, lost,
When something broke
And let you from a Dream

As if a Goblin with a Gauge
Kept measuring the Hours
Until you felt your Second
Weigh, helpless, in his Paws

And not a Sinew stirred could help,
And sense was setting numb
When God remembered and the Fiend
Let go, then, Overcome

As if your Sentence stood pronounced
And you were frozen led
From Dungeon’s luxury of Doubt
To Gibbets, and the Dead

And when the Film had stitched your eyes
A Creature gasped “Reprieve”!
Which Anguish was the utterest then
To perish, or to live?

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'Twas like a Maelstrom, with a notch