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The Healers by C.J. Dennis

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At the University Wilson Hall tonight Fellows of the Royal Australian College of Surgeons begin their fifth annual conference.

Now are the healers gathered
   To talk of hidden things
And plan new "lurks" to filch the works
   To which poor mankind clings.
With eyes on the duodenum
   And appendix vermiform,
They conjugate "to operate"
   As the arguments wax warm.

"Put out your tongue." "Say ninety-nine."
   Ah, how we quake in dread
When they begin to listen-in,
   Then gravely shake the head.
And oft about my middle
   A strange numb feeling stole,
When a healer tried with x-ray eyes
   To search my inmost soul.

Yet, honour to the healers,
   NOogross self-seekers these,
Who give their skill to lift the ill
   Of human miseries;
Who give their lives to service,
   And dedicate again
Skilled hand and mind to humankind,
   For sake of fellow-men.

First published in The Herald, 17 February 1932

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