THE greater masters of the commonplace,
REMBRANDT and good SIR WALTER — only these
Could paint her all to you: experienced ease
And antique liveliness and ponderous grace;
The sweet old roses of her sunken face;
The depth and malice of her sly, grey eyes;
The broad Scots tongue that flatters, scolds, defies,
The thick Scots wit that fells you like a mace.
These thirty years has she been nursing here,
Some of them under SYME, her hero still.
Much is she worth, and even more is made of her.
Patients and students hold her very dear.
The doctors love her, tease her, use her skill.
They say ' The Chief' himself is half-afraid of her.


Henley, W. E. "In Hospital." Poems. 2nd edition. London: David Nutt, 1889. P. 13.

Last modified 26 November 2004