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Poem by William Ernest Henley


Enter Patient


The morning mists still haunt the stony street;
The northern summer air is shrill and cold;
And lo, the Hospital, grey, quiet, old,
Where Life and Death like friendly chafferers meet.
Thro' the loud spaciousness and draughty gloom
A small, strange child-so aged yet so young! -
Her little arm besplinted and beslung,
Precedes me gravely to the waiting-room.
I limp behind, my confidence all gone.
The grey-haired soldier-porter waves me on,
And on I crawl, and still my spirits fail:
A tragic meanness seems so to environ
These corridors and stairs of stone and iron,
Cold, naked, clean-half-workhouse and half-jail.



William Ernest Henley


William Ernest Henley's other poems:
  1. A Wink from Hesper
  2. London Types: Bus Driver
  3. The Ways of Death Are Soothing and Serene
  4. In Rotten Row
  5. Praise The Generous Gods


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