‘The Hand That Signed The Paper Felled A City’ by Dylan Thomas

The hand that signed the paper felled a city;

Five sovereign fingers taxed the breath,

Doubled the globe of dead and halved a country,

These five kings dig a king to death.

 

The mighty hand leads to a sloping shoulder,

The finger joints are cramped with chalk;

A goose’s quill has put an end to murder

That put an end to talk.

 

The hand that signed the treaty bred a fever,

And famine grew, and locusts came;

Great is the hand that holds dominion over

Man by a scribbled name.

 

The five kings count the dead but do not soften

The crusted wound nor pat the brow;

A hand rules pity as a hand rules heaven;

Hands have no tears to flow.

 

by Dylan Thomas

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