And so when he reached my bed
    The General made a stand:
"My brave young fellow," he said,
        "I would shake your hand."

So I lifted my arm, the right,
    With never a hand at all;
Only a stump, a sight
        Fit to appal.

"Well, well. Now that's too bad!
    That's sorrowful luck," he said;
"But there! You give me, my lad,
        The left instead."

So from under the blanket's rim
    I raised and showed him the other,
A snag as ugly and grim
        As its ugly brother.

He looked at each jagged wrist;
    He looked, but he did not speak;
And then he bent down and kissed
        Me on either cheek.

You wonder now I don't mind
    I hadn't a hand to offer. . . .
They tell me (you know I'm blind)
        'Twas Grand-Père Joffre.

By:  Robert Service

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