Original Text: 
Arthur Christopher Benson, The Professor and Other Poems (London: John Lane the Bodley Head, 1900): 7-8. PR 4099 B5P7 Robarts Library
1This is my chiefest torment, that behind
2    The brave and subtle spirit, the swift brain,
3    There sits and shivers, in a cell of pain,
4A groping atom, melancholy, blind,
5Which is myself; -- though, when spring suns are kind,
6    And rich leaves riot in the genial rain,
7    I cheat him, dreaming: slip my rigorous chain,
8Free as a skiff before the dancing wind.
9Then he awakes: and vexed that I am glad,
10    In dreary malice strains some nimble cord,
11        Pricks his thin claw within some delicate nerve;
12        And all at once I falter, start, and swerve
13From my true course, to fall, unmanned and sad,
14    Into gross darkness, tangible, abhorred.
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: