Screens (In a Hospital)

They put the screens around his bed;
a crumpled heap I saw him lie,
White counterpane and rough dark head,
those screens – they showed that he would die.

The put the screens about his bed;
We might not play the gramophone,
And so we played at cards instead
And left him dying there alone.

The covers on the screens are red,
The counterpanes are white and clean;
He might have lived and loved and wed
But now he’s done for at nineteen.

An ounce or more of Turkish lead,
He got his wounds at Sulva Bay
They’ve brought the Union Jack to spread
Upon him when he goes away.

He’ll want those three red screens no more,
Another man will get his bed,
We’ll make the row we did before
But – Jove! – I’m sorry that he’s dead.

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