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William Ernest Henley (Уильям Эрнст Хенли)

In Hospital. 2. Waiting

A square, squat room (a cellar on promotion),
   Drab to the soul, drab to the very daylight;
   Plasters astray in unnatural-looking tinware;
   Scissors and lint and apothecary’s jars.

Here, on a bench a skeleton would writhe from,
   Angry and sore, I wait to be admitted:
   Wait till my heart is lead upon my stomach,
   While at their ease two dressers do their chores.

One has a probe—it feels to me a crowbar.
   A small boy sniffs and shudders after bluestone.
   A poor old tramp explains his poor old ulcers.
   Life is (I think) a blunder and a shame.

William Ernest Henley's other poems:
  1. Rhymes and Rhythms. 12. Some Starlit Garden Grey with Dew
  2. Ballade of the Toyokuni Colour-Print
  3. Echoes. 17. The Sands Are Alive with Sunshine
  4. Rhymes and Rhythms. 10. Midsummer Midnight Skies
  5. Rhymes and Rhythms. 20. The Shadow of Dawn

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