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John Keats, Surgeon

ISSUE:  Winter 1937

Is not the level shine of steel Honed to the littleness of hair Sufficient implement to deal A stroke to lay the spirit bear?
The hurt lies not so recondite As point may drive, or probe explore,
Yet, though the blade drink long or light,
The fever kindles as before.
It nothing augurs that the hand Hew the division deep enough: The sutures though they tremble, stand,
And cast the kindly unguent off.
Here were a juggler’s fraud at best,
To mitigate the lesser ill,
And leave like an unriddled jest The ruined heartbeat ailing still.
Is there a stranger provender
To get the ravaged part its peace—
Wolfsbane, aloe, mandrake, myrrh?
No, no; not these. . . .


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