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Elegy for a Hangman

It’s sad to see that breaking necks is out of fashion: this reflects
  Our taking new technologies to heart. 
The practice, in the West at least, has much declined or even ceased. 
  Yes, hanging has become a dying art. 

I say an art, and so it is: it takes a certain kind of whiz
  To estimate a person's weight and height
And say 'he needs a rope this long.' Get any calculation wrong...   
  Let's say it wouldn't be a pretty sight. 

A fellow practised in the use of gallows and a sturdy noose
  Will do the job with expeditious skill:
In seconds your convicted chap is hooded, strung and through the trap -
  A quick and clean and (almost) painless kill. 

You need to put in time and graft to learn this ancient, noble craft,  
  With poison gas or needles, not so much.
Old Sparky offers no advance: when villains do the sit-down dance 
  They miss the hangman’s artisanal touch.

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