Ha! First time I've heard the poem.
An I agree, Glaive beams are the shit, only the Federation Cruiser's Artillery Beam is better.
Actually, Glaive Beam > Artillery Beam.
Artillery Beam only does 1 damage per room IIRC, it's just that the amount of damage is based on the size of the ship and how many rooms the beam hits, tops it can do is 12 and that's against the Rebel Flagship at first form due to it's massive size, whereas Glaive Beam does 3 damage per room and it can deal up to 18 damage in one hit(against an Energy Cruiser, where you get to hit 5 rooms for optimal damage). What makes the Artillery Beam better is how it's able to penetrate shields, but 1 Glaive Beam and 1 Ion Blast and 1 Ion Blast II can turn any full ship into instant scrap within seconds.
They're not easily comparable, IMO.
Glaive Beam does more damage, sure, but getting past shields is really the biggest issue in the game - not hull damage. Beams suck versus shields, as much of the damage will be cut out on against a ship with 2-shields and it'll do nothing against a 3-shield one. Having a shield-ignoring weapon guaranteed to do damage that takes neither missiles nor drones is incredibly useful. Ion blasts are excellent, but you can't rely on getting them and they work almost as well with any other shield-affected weapon.
The Artillery Beam is also on a separate system. So, when your weapon room is on fire and losing oxygen fast, you have a backup way of destroying the enemy. That also means that it costs less to split scrap between the two systems than it would to just upgrade the weapon system. Of course, that also means that you're losing stealth to use the system and can't swap between weapons as easily as if you had just dumped scrap into the weapons.
There's also that you can't control where the Artillery Beam aims and precisely when it fires - a major problem. You'll probably want to target specific subsystems, but can't. It's also not safe to send crew members over while its got power in it, but you often can't be sure that you won't need it in a given battle. No other weapon has this problem.
It's also a guaranteed starting "weapon" on two ship layouts, but the Glaive Beam is only guaranteed on one ship layout without shields. You're either going to need luck (and probably saved-up scrap) to get it or have to survive an early game without shields to use the latter.
Artillery Beam also doesn't work well as a primary damage dealer. It takes a long amount of time to charge up especially at low levels and doesn't do a huge amount of hull damage. The Glaive Beam works better, but it loses steam as ships get more shields. There are no weapons in this game that function well past the first few sectors without needing to be supported by other attack methods; although the Glaive Beam is the best weapon in the game at undermining that idea, it's still useless at the 3-shield mark.
To reiterate, they're really not directly comparable. Either one can be better based on the circumstances, and you'd have good reason to have either, both, or neither.
Myself, I've gotten used to playing without either. Forgoing stealth or relying on luck is not something I like. Crew teleportation gets you a good amount of more scrap, and it becomes the most effective offensive technique in the game with the Crystal Ship B layout and a good crew.