Darkness

A poem by Arthur Conan Doyle

A gentleman of wit and charm,
A kindly heart, a cleanly mind,
One who was quick with hand or purse,
To lift the burden of his kind.
A brain well balanced and mature,
A soul that shrank from all things base,
So rode he forth that winter day,
Complete in every mortal grace.

And then the blunder of a horse,
The crash upon the frozen clods,
And Death? Ah! no such dignity,
But Life, all twisted and at odds!
At odds in body and in soul,
Degraded to some brutish state,
A being loathsome and malign,
Debased, obscene, degenerate.

Pathology? The case is clear,
The diagnosis is exact;
A bone depressed, a haemorrhage,
The pressure on a nervous tract.
Theology? Ah, there's the rub!
Since brain and soul together fade,
Then when the brain is dead enough!
Lord help us, for we need Thine aid!

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