William Ernest Henley

(1849 - 1902 / Gloucester / England)

After Poem by William Ernest Henley


Like as a flamelet blanketed in smoke,
So through the anaesthetic 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.

Submitted: Monday, April 12, 2010

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