In Praise of Dr. John O’Bourdon, M.D., Sometime Handler of the Pilgrim’s Staff

A beard of virgin wool appeared

On my surgeon, who, in urgent

Hours, did have my vainglory sheared,

And, his hand sewed flesh convergent

While I cold-pressed a chrism of tears,

And, we nursed music from the spheres.

I heard a burning bull offer

On the table that bestrode mine

A sullen sigh like a coffer

Abundant and rich and malign—

A grey grunt which was a Tumor

Advert craving a consumer.

I hastened the blade deep into

Zeal, concealing not what appealed

As his colour bled to imbue

And tint me wet letters unsealed;

Under I went, waxed cosmetic,

And, emerged peripatetic.