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A Casualty Analysis

Author: poem of Robert Service Type: poem Views: 1

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That boy I took in the car last night,

With the body that awfully sagged away,

And the lips blood-crisped, and the eyes flame-bright,

And the poor hands folded and cold as clay --

Oh, I've thought and I've thought of him all the day.

For the weary old doctor says to me:

"He'll only last for an hour or so.

Both of his legs below the knee

Blown off by a bomb. . . . So, lad, go slow,

And please remember, he doesn't know."

So I tried to drive with never a jar;

And there was I cursing the road like mad,

When I hears a ghost of a voice from the car:

"Tell me, old chap, have I `copped it' bad?"

So I answers "No," and he says, "I'm glad."

"Glad," says he, "for at twenty-two

Life's so splendid, I hate to go.

There's so much good that a chap might do,

And I've fought from the start and I've suffered so.

'Twould be hard to get knocked out now, you know."

"Forget it," says I; then I drove awhile,

And I passed him a cheery word or two;

But he didn't answer for many a mile,

So just as the hospital hove in view,

Says I: "Is there nothing that I can do?"

Then he opens his eyes and he smiles at me;

And he takes my hand in his trembling hold;

"Thank you -- you're far too kind," says he:

"I'm awfully comfy -- stay . . . let's see:

I fancy my blanket's come unrolled --

My feet, please wrap 'em -- they're cold . . . they're cold."


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