Casualty

William Ernest Henley 1849 (Gloucester) – 1903 (Woking)



As with varnish red and glistening
Dripped his hair; his feet looked rigid;
Raised, he settled stiffly sideways:
You could see his hurts were spinal.

He had fallen from an engine,
And been dragged along the metals.
It was hopeless, and they knew it;
So they covered him, and left him.

As he lay, by fits half sentient,
Inarticulately moaning,
With his stockinged soles protruded
Stark and awkward from the blankets,

To his bed there came a woman,
Stood and looked and sighed a little,
And departed without speaking,
As himself a few hours after.

I was told it was his sweetheart.
They were on the eve of marriage.
She was quiet as a statue,
But her lip was grey and writhen.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

Modified on March 05, 2023

37 sec read
63

Quick analysis:

Scheme ABXC DXXX BABX DCAX XXXD
Closest metre Iambic tetrameter
Characters 663
Words 124
Stanzas 5
Stanza Lengths 4, 4, 4, 4, 4

William Ernest Henley

William Ernest Henley was an English poet, critic and editor, best remembered for his 1875 poem "Invictus". more…

All William Ernest Henley poems | William Ernest Henley Books

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