Bert Leston Taylor

(1866-1921 / the United States)

Gentle Doctor Brown - Poem by Bert Leston Taylor

It was a gentle sawbones and his name was Doctor Brown.
His auto was the terror of a small suburban town.
His practice, quite amazing for so trivial a place,
Consisted of the victims of his homicidal pace.
So constant was his practice and so high his motor's gear
That at knocking down pedestrians he never had a peer;
But it must, in simple justice, be as truly written down
That no man could be more thoughtful than gentle Doctor Brown.
Whatever was the errand on which Doctor Brown was bent
He'd stop to patch a victim up and never charged a cent.
He'd always pause, whoever 'twas he happened to run down:
A humane and a thoughtful man was gentle Doctor Brown.
'How fortunate,' he would observe, 'How fortunate 'twas I
That knocked you galley-west and heard your wild and wailing cry.
There are some heartless wretches who would leave you here alone,
Without a sympathetic ear to catch your dying moan.
'Such callousness,' said Doctor Brown, 'I cannot comprehend'
To fathom such indifference I simply don't pretend.
One ought to do his duty, and I never am remiss.
A simple word of thanks is all I ask. Here, swallow this!'
Then, reaching in the tonneau, he'd unpack his little kit,
And perform an operation that was workmanlike and fit.
'You may survive,' said Doctor Brown; 'it's happened once or twice.
If not you've had the benefit of competent advice.'
Oh, if all our motormaniacs were equally humane,
How little bitterness there'd be, or reason to complain!
How different our point of view if we were ridden down
By lunatics as thoughtful as gentle Doctor Brown!


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Poem Submitted: Saturday, September 18, 2010



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