A Casualty Poem by Robert William Service

A Casualty

Rating: 3.0


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."

COMMENTS OF THE POEM
Ammy 27 May 2022

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Chinedu Dike 27 May 2022

A tragic tale insightfully told with clarity of thought and mind. A poignant rendition.

0 0 Reply
Sylvia Frances Chan 27 May 2022

Most deserving as The Classic Poem Of The Day. IF the famous poet is still alive, I would have sent him a short verse to show my highest appreciations

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Sylvia Frances Chan 27 May 2022

5 Stars full score for this very brilliant poem by Robert William Service. A very tragic poem about a dying young boy, my heart is very thrilled while still reading this very touching poem. Sublimest poem I ever read.

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