As they would dance, yet for a dance they seemed
Somewhat extravagant and wild
Milton, Paradise Lost, Book VI, 615-616
They writhe as they would dance when I caress their ear just so
And stand to attention like soldiers when I scratch beneath their arms.
When I grant them the speed of lightning they rattle across the floor,
If I heat them quickly they try to break down the door.
Should I hang them from chains they raise their arms, exalting
The ceiling which lets them rise so high.
These dancers, soldiers, lightning-gifted firemen, raised up above
Now only have one desire – they desire that they might die.
I apologise for my overly long absence. I was very busy directing a show on the West End – please excuse my uninvited boasting, but it was very enjoyable. However, I now wish to catch up with my verses, and will do so now. Over the course of today, eight poems will be published, one every three hours. This will bring me back in line, I believe. Many thanks for your understanding.
The quote for this poem comes from the point where the demons rejoice at the agony of the angels on having artillery turned on them. It is a graphic and brutal scene – I am not entirely sure I like it. I have chosen to follow it by using a similar language regarding other forms of torture.
The Hapless Neo-Romantic