Hippocrates by Wilbur D. Nesbit

Poem for Children about Hippocrates

Hippocrates was father to an awful lot of bother, for ’tis claimed that as to medicine he was the pioneer,
That but for him the surgeon or the latter-day chirurgeon might never have been tinkering the human running gear.

Hippocrates’ diploma never threw him into coma in his efforts to decipher what its classic diction said,
For when he was seeking practice—long ago—the simple fact is that the Latin tongue was common and was very far from dead.

He often growled, “Dad gum it!” when he felt the glossy summit of his head, which was as bald as any shiny billiard ball—
But old Hip had to endure it, for he knew he couldn’t cure it, and that once his hair was falling, why, he had to let it fall.

He was written up by Plato (who was quite a hot potato when it came to mental effort, for you know he reasoned well);
Plato praised his diagnosis, called him healing’s patient Moses, and though facts were hard to gather, found a goodly lot to tell.

Hippocrates had knowledge, though he didn’t go to college; he could speak of all diseases that he knew, in Latin terms
(Still, ’twas only second nature to affect that nomenclature), but he never even thought of, much less heard of, any germs.

Streptococcus or bacillus such as get in us and kill us to Hippocrates were always undiscovered and unknown,
And the grim appendicitis which today is sure to fright us, was by Dr. Hip considered but a stomach-achic groan.

Were he living at this moment, would the world be in a foment? Would physicians of the present take him out to see the town?
From New Jersey clear to Joppa not a one would call him “Papa,” and his theories and treatments would be greeted with a frown.

We must say that he was clever, and that in one way, however, he resembled all the others who are treating human ills—
He was constantly complaining that in spite of all his training he could never cure his patients of the trait of dodging bills.