Martin Luther

TEMPTED by a taunting Devil,
Master Martin did his level
Best, one midnight, to combat him —
Flung a brimming inkpot at him.
Whereupon, and with a roar,
Fled the Fiend, but not before
He’d absconded, slick as whistle,
With the cautionary missile
(Having noted at a glance
All its awful puissance).
Dire, the upshot! One must wince
To consider ever since
How that weapon has been hurled
Back and forth across the world
Twixt Reformer and the naughty
Devil’s scribbling literati.
Ceaselessly for generations
Has it spilled on men and nations
Till the mind forbears to think
Of the tides in which we sink.
Ah, the seas and seas of ink!