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 did 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 the 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.