(Using Shakespeare’s words to confront the plight of a Physician)
Give me that man
That is not passion’s slave
Give me that blanket that comforts and soothes
For in my heart
There was a fighting that would not let me sleep,
Sometimes serves us well.
In those wakeful moments
When around a surgeon’s scalpel the blood congeals
And time is spent to heal.
What a piece of work is a man
The quintessence of dust.
What is he
Whose grief bears such emphasis
Such intricate complexity
Of thought and action?
How noble in reason
How infinite in faculties
To quell the cry of pain,
How like an angel
How express and admirable
To drown the misery
And purge the disquiet
Of a thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to
And to take arms against a sea of trouble
And by opposing, end them.
Yet within the firmament of that reason
I could be bounded in a nutshell
And count myself a king of infinite space,
Were it not that I have bad dreams.
These dreams, though this be madness
There is method in’t.
The vile mechanism feeds
And eyes without feeling
Feeling without sight,
Cannot chart the course to reason.
The spirit that I have seen, may be a devil
And the devil hath power t’assume a pleasing shape
Cleave the general ear with horrid speech,
Make mad the guilty and appall the free.
These clever studied orphans of untruth
Confound the ignorant and amaze
Indeed the very faculties of eyes and ears.
They forget in their remarkable hypocrisy;
This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
The power that exudes such tyranny
Tis dangerous when the baser nature comes between
The pass and fell incensed points of mighty opposites.
They know not what they do
As their power is fleeting
And the unholy madness, a passing fancy
A man may fish with the worm that hath eat of a king,
And eat of the fish that hath fed of that worm
They thus find permanence in indignity
within houses that last till doomsday.
While chastising nobility, they cry and
Humanity bleeds as one is lost to the many
Eviscerating the noble cause of individuality
The chief good and market of this time
Is left wanting in art and science,
Or somewhere in between.
This warlike paragon of animals
Abuses me to damn me.
As villainy though it have no tongue,
Will speak with most miraculous organ!
Leaving in its vile dust
This beauty of the world,
This noble of humans
In apprehension how like a god,
I will wear him in my heart’s core,
Ay, in my heart of hearts
As he grunts and sweats under the weary life
Bringing comfort through his discomfort
To the one of the many! ■