This enchanting piece of verse appears in a book entitled "Intestinal Ills" by Alcinous B. Jamison, M.D., copyright 1901. Jamison believed that most of the world's problems were caused by constipation, and that said constipation should be cured by regular enemas, to be administered as often as twice a day.
Many less courageous individuals would have considered the subject of intestinal stagnation unsuited to the poetic form, but Jamison certainly had the guts. What a shame it is that so few poets since have dared follow his pioneering exploration of the interior.
It was an image good to see,
With spirits high and full of glee,
And robust health endowed;
Its face was loveliness untold,
Its lines were cast in beauty's mold;
At its own shrine it bowed.
With perfect form in each respect,
It proudly stood with head erect
And skin surpassing fair,
Surveyed itself from foot to head,
And then complacently it said:
"Naught can with me compare."
When lo the face began to pale,
The body looked too thin and frail,
The cheek had lost its glow;
The tongue a tale of woe did tell,
With nerves impaired its spirits fell;
The fire of life burned low.
In the intestinal canal
Waste matter lay and sad to tell,
Was left from day to day;
And while it was neglected there
It undermined that structure fair,
And caused it to decay.
The doctor's words I would recall
Who said: "Neglect precedes a fall,"
And verily 't is true;
For ye who disregard your health,
And value not that precious wealth,
Will surely live to rue.
Scribbled by Alfred Armstrong 13 years 10 months ago