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A Casualty

 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.

Poem by Robert William Service
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