The Hospital at Night

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The Hospital at Night


I SIT within the long dim ward at night;
Around me silent beds or snores or groans —
Ah! List that prayer with anguish In Its tones:
"O God, God, God! How soon will it be light!"
Kape sthill! An' let us shlape. Oi think yees moight!"-
A boy asleep, who smiles, (with broken bones)
Dreaming of mother or some playground sight.
Without, thick darkness and a wind that moans.

A rattling breath, a gasp, a still, white stare,
A nurse's jest: "Discharged—tie up the jaw,
A label on the wrist to save mistakes,"
The tramp of dead-house men of heedless air.
Two lines of lifted faces full of awe—
A sickened sot, that cot tomorrow shakes.

—J. William Lloyd.

Source: Ina Russelle Warren, ed. The Doctor's Window. Buffalo, NY: Charles Wells Moulton, 1898. 249.