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 mathematics whiz
To gauge a Dead Man Sitting’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, subtle 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.