Brand Whitlock (1869 – 1934) American politician, author and diplomat, composed this pseudo-medieval verse in which the "Ironic Spirit" mocks man and his triumphs:
"This is thy latest, greatest miracle.
The triumph of thy latest science, art and all
That skill thou'st learnt since forth the Norsemen fared
Across these waters in their cockle shells..."
Whitlock is not remembered for his poetry, but rather as the outstanding U.S. Ambassador to Belgium between the years 1913 - 1922. It was there that the man's mettle was put to the test and was not found wanting.