by C. J. Buell

I am Pain.  Most people hate me,
Think me cruel, call me heartless;
Study ways to bribe and fool me,
Try by every means to slay me.

Dope themselves with anesthetics,
Fill themselves with patent nostrums,
Call the one who practices medicine,
Seek the allopathic healer.

Beat the tom-tom of the savage,
Build the alter, burn the incense;
Seek to sate the wrath of devils,
Pray to saints, and gods, and angels.

Not to cure the ills within them,
Not to cleanse and purify them—
Just to calm the pain that hurts them;
Just to kill the guide that warns them.

Pain I am; but when you know me,
When you once have learned my secret—
How I come to help and bless you,
Guide you, warn you, lead and teach you;

When you know my loving nature,
How, at first, I gently twinge you,
Lightly twinge you, as a warning,
Hoping by this kind endeavor,
You will heed my voice and listen.

Sure am I that when you know me,
You will gladly then embrace me,
Call me friend and give me welcome,
Call me friend and ask my message.

This the message I would bring you,
This the secret I would teach you;
This the warning I would give you,
This the reason for my visit,

When you learn to know that nature,
In her wise and boundless mercy,
In her tender, loving kindness,
In her wisdom, and her goodness,
Meant that men should live and labor;

When you learn to shun the by-paths,
Leading off to vicious habits;
When you learn to keep your body
Strong and clean and pure and active;

Give it work in right proportion,
Give it air and food and water,
Fit to build its every member,
Fit to nourish every function;

When you teach your mind and spirit,
Pure and noble thoughts to harbor;
Drive out fear, and hate, and malice;
Cherish love and kindly motive;

Think of every man and woman
As your brother, as your sister;
Scorn to do to any other
What to you would seem injustice;

Help to build a state and nation
Founded on the rock of freedom;
See that chance to none is lacking
Where withal to earn a living,
Where withal to live in comfort;

When you learn these things I’ve told you,
When you know them, when you do them—
Then will I depart and leave you
Then will pain no more be needed.

This is then, the truth I bring you;
That I hurt you but to heal you,
Thus I come to guide and lead you.

I am God’s most blessed angel,
Sent to point the way to virtue,
Sent to teach the noblest manhood,
Sent to rouse the soul to action.

Love me, trust me, heed my message;
I will bring thee peace and bless thee.

From The Health Poetry Prescription by Earnest Endeavor