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LDEST and most honorable of Guilds, the Doctors
have written much in all ages about the Science and Art of Medicine. A great building scarce suffices to
hold their writings. In turn the Doctors themselves have been much written about, and here are gathered a well chosen collection of these pieces. They have been chosen not at random but so as to present, as to one who looks through a window at the stream of life hurrying along some great thoroughfare, all its phases and aspects. Through the ages from the early dawn of human existence the Medicine Man has pursued his strange yet sacred calling. Possessed of mysterious knowledge which sets them apart, dealing ever with the tremendous and baffling problems of life and death, looked to by all when suffering and danger impend, worshiped as divine and hailed as deliverers when the issue is good, or derided and punished for their failures, the doctors have always enjoyed strange experiences. The sufferer cannot promise too much in the hope of relief, but the danger past and the pain relieved how odious when the welcome, thrice welcome Healer is regarded as the importunate creditor whose demand seems monstrous in the light of half forgotten suffering. Nor have the Doctors failed to show the inconsistencies and the frailties of their human nature, ever struggling with burdens too heavy to be borne, and with problems too hard to be solved. The triumph and the defeat, the glory of heroic devotion and selfsacrifice, and the meanness of avarice and ambition, have been seen and weli portrayed. Through it all the belief of the people in the healing art has remained true; through it all the aim of the Doctors has remained noble; and the larger light of knowledge of these later days is defining clearly the splendid services rendered to humanity by medicine. It is no longer merely the personal relation of doctor to patient, and the
personal service: there is coming now the infinitely broader relation of sympathy and confidence between the entire community and the whole medical profession, engaged in a common work of discovering and removing the causes of Disease. Hygiene and preventive medicine are the fields wherein the greatest triumphs of the future, as of the past, are to be achieved. But there will always remain the close and individual relation of Doctor and patient which is so well depicted in all its phases in the verses of this collection. We turn from the larger outlook of the struggle which science wages against disease, to the more narrow sphere wherein every home of the land the Doctor wages his never ending battle with the individual cases of weakness, of suffering, or of injury. In the poetry and in the prose of life, in its happiest drama and its wildest tragedies he has ever his important part to bear. It is good to find that the rôle assigned him in the unfolding scroll of Time is one of ever growing honor and importance.
-WILLIAM PEPPER, M. D.
N MAKING this anthology of medical verse, it has been my
aim to produce a volume that will direct attention to the
valuable poems written by the Doctor and about the Doctor. The medical profession has written much admirable poetry which has appeared chiefly in local and medical journals. I have made an effort to preserve and bring together in permanent form these poems, with many old favorites by well-known authors. One limited volume would not contain all the verse written upon this subject, and I am aware that poems worthy a place have been omitted. On the other hand, a number of original poems appear which were written expressly for this book. The volume is compiled especially for the Doctor, with the hope that he may find in it a restful diversion from an arduous practice. My task has been lightened by the considerate criticisms and kindly suggestions offered by members of the profession, to whom I here extend cordial thanks.
For the use of copyrighted poems I gratefully acknowledge the graciousness of Messrs. Houghton, Mifflin & Company; Harper & Brothers; G. P. Putnam's Sons; Dodd, Mead & Company; Lee & Shepard ; Roberts Brothers; Frederick A Stokes Company; Bowen-Merrill Company; Cassell Publishing Company and many of the authors represented.
-I. R. W. Buffalo, N. Y. September 3rd, 1897.
AN ADVANCE SUBSCRIBER TO THE EDITOR Dr. Edward D. Freeman iii