CARRY me out
Into the wind and the sunshine,
Into the beautiful world.
O, the wonder, the spell of the streets
The stature and strength of the horses
The rustle and echo of footfalls,
The flat roar and rattle of wheels!
A swift tram floats huge on us . . .
It's a dream?
The smell of the mud in my nostrils
Blows brave — like a breath of the sea!
As of old,
Ambulant, undulant drapery,
Vaguely and strangely provocative,
Flutters and beckons. O, yonder —
Is it? — the gleam of a stocking!
Sudden, a spire
Wedged in the mist! O, the houses,
The long lines of lofty, grey houses,
Cross-hatched with shadow and light!
These are the streets....
Each is an avenue leading
Whither I will!
Free . . .!
Dizzy, hysterical, faint,
I sit, and the carriage rolls on with me
Into the wonderful world.
THE OLD INFIRMARY, EDINBURGH, 1873-75
Poem 28 of In Hospital (1873-75).
Henley, W. E. "In Hospital." Poems. 2nd edition. London: David Nutt, 1889. Pp. 42-43.
Last modified 26 November 2004