LIKE as a flamelet blanketed in smoke,
So through the anæsthetic shows my life;
So flashes and so fades my thought, at strife
With the strong stupor that I heave and choke
And sicken at, it is so foully sweet.
Faces look strange from space — and disappear.
Far voices, sudden loud, offend my ear —
And hush as sudden. Then my senses fleet:
All were a blank, save for this dull, new pain
That grinds my leg and foot; and brokenly
Time and the place glimpse on to me again;
And, unsurprised, out of uncertainty,
I wake — relapsing — somewhat faint and fain,
To an immense, complacent dreamery.


Henley, W. E. "In Hospital." Poems. 2nd edition. London: David Nutt, 1889. P. 9.

Last modified 26 November 2004