‘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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