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William Ernest Henley (Уильям Эрнст Хенли)

In Hospital. 17. Interlude

O, the fun, the fun and frolic
   That The Wind that Shakes the Barley
   Scatters through a penny-whistle
   Tickled with artistic fingers!

Kate the scrubber (forty summers,
   Stout but sportive) treads a measure,
   Grinning, in herself a ballet,
   Fixed as fate upon her audience.

Stumps are shaking, crutch-supported;
   Splinted fingers tap the rhythm;
   And a head all helmed with plasters
   Wags a measured approbation.

Of their mattress-life oblivious,
   All the patients, brisk and cheerful,
   Are encouraging the dancer,
   And applauding the musician.

Dim the gas-lights in the output
   Of so many ardent smokers,
   Full of shadow lurch the corners,
   And the doctor peeps and passes.

There are, maybe, some suspicions
   Of an alcoholic presence . . .
   ‘Tak’ a sup of this, my wumman!’ . . .
   New Year comes but once a twelvemonth.

William Ernest Henley's other poems:
  1. Echoes. 17. The Sands Are Alive with Sunshine
  2. Rhymes and Rhythms. 10. Midsummer Midnight Skies
  3. Rhymes and Rhythms. 12. Some Starlit Garden Grey with Dew
  4. In Hospital. 3. Interior
  5. Envoy

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