The Doctor's Story

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The Doctor's Story
by Will Carleton

Good folks ever will have their way
Good folks ever for it must pay.

But we, who are here and everywhere,
The burden of their faults must bear.

We must shoulder others' shame,
Fight their follies, and take their blame:

Purge the body, and humor the mind;
Doctor the eyes when the soul is blind;

Build the column of health erect
On the quicksands of neglect:

Always shouldering others' shame-
Bearing their faults and taking the blame!

Deacon Rogers, he came to me;
"Wife is a-goin' to die," said he.

'Doctors great, an' doctors small,
Haven't improved her any at all.

'Physic and blister, powders and pills,
And nothing sure but the doctors' bills!

"Twenty women, with remedies new,
Bother my wife the whole day through.

'Sweet as honey, or bitter as gall
Poor old woman, she takes 'em all.

'Sour or sweet, whatever they choose;
Poor old woman, she daren't refuse.

'So she pleases whoe'er may call,
An' Death is suited the best of all.

'Physic and blister, powder an' pill
Bound to conquer, and sure to kill!"

Mrs. Rogers lay in her bed,
Bandaged and blistered from foot to head.

Blistered and bandaged from head to toe,
Mrs. Rogers was very low.

Bottle and saucer, spoon and cup,
On the table stood bravely up;

Physics of high and low degree;
Calomel, catnip, boneset tea;

Everything a body could bear,
Excepting light and water and air.

I opened the blinds; the day was bright,
And God gave Mrs. Rogers some light.

I opened the window; the day was fair,
And God gave Mrs. Rogers some air.

Bottles and blisters, powders and pills,
Catnip, boneset, sirups and squills;

Drugs and medicines, high and low,
I threw them as far as I could throw.

"What are you doing?" my patient cried;
"Frightening Death," I coolly replied.

"You are crazy!" a visitor said:
I flung a bottle at his head.

Deacon Rogers he came to me,
'Wife is a-gettin' her health," said he.

"I really think she will worry through;
She scolds me just as she used to do.

'All the people have poohed an' slurred,
All the neighbors have had their word;

"'Twere better to perish, some of 'em say,
Than be cured in such an irregular way."

"Your wife," said I, "had God's good care,
And His remedies, light and water and air.

"All of the doctors, beyond a doubt,
Couldn't have cured Mrs. Rogers without.'

Tle deacon smiled and bowed his head;
Then your bill is nothing," he said.

"God's be the glory, as you sayl
God bless you, Doctor! Good day! Good day!"

If ever I doctor that woman again,
I'll give her medicine made by men.


This work was published before January 1, 1923, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.