Henry Clay Work

(1 October 1832 – 8 June 1884 / Middletown, Connecticut)

The Old Village Doctor - Poem by Henry Clay Work

In the village where he married,
Doctor Eldebury tarried;
And for fourty years our people knew him well.
How he listered us and bled us,
How with calomel he fed us,
Only I am living now to tell.
Though his drugs were deadly, yet his heart was kind,
And with voice tuned cheerily and high,
It was "Up, now, my little fellow! livly's can be!
Come, take your medicine like a little man,
And you'll feel better by-and-by."

Count the mossy marbles in the graveyard!
Our old doctor and his patients, there they lie.
All regradless of the weather,
They are waiting there together,
For that long-sought "better by-and-by."

Some physicians talk in Latin;
Some array their wives in satin;
As for our old doctor, such was not his way.
Gleaning fees of half a dollar,
Would you find a learn-ed scholar
'Mong the mountains, riding night and day?
Saddle-bags behind him, on his "pale white horse,"
To his far off patient see him fly,
Saying "Up, now, my little fellow! livly's can be!
Come, take your medicine like a little man,
And you'll feel better by-and-by."

Oh! the doses he invented!
Us in youth he tormented
With his plasters, and his powders, and his pills;
Water for our thirst denying,
Fevered though we were and dying,
While the cool springs wasted from the hills!
Yet he thought no evil, and he meant no harm:
We had faith--yes, hope when he came nigh
With his "Up, now, my little fellow! livly's can be!
Come, take your medicine like a little man,
And you'll feel better by-and-by."


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Read poems about / on: weather, horse, evil, faith, together, water, people, hope, night, spring



Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003



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