“A year to live,” the Doctor said;
“There is no cure,” and shook his head.
Ah me! I felt as good as dead.
Yet quite resigned to fate was I,
Thinking: “Well, since I have to die
‘Twill be beneath the open sky.”
And so I sought a wildsome wood
Wherein a lonely cabin stood,
And doomed myself to solitude,
And there was no one I would see:
Each morn a farmer brought to me
My food and hung it on a tree.
Six eggs he brought, and milk a quart,
Enough for wretches of my sort
Whose life is fated to be short.
At night I laid me on the round,
In robe of buffalo wrapped round . . .
‘Twas strange that I should sleep so sound.
The farmer man I seldom saw;
I pierced my eggs and sucked them raw;
Sweet mil refreshed my ravaged maw.
So slowly days and weeks went by,
And always I would wonder why
I did not die. . . I did not die.
Thus brooding on my grievous lot
The world of men I fast forgot.
And in the wildwood friends I sought.
The brook bright melodies would sing,
The groves with feathered rapture ring,
And bring me strange, sweet comforting. . . .
Then all at once I knew that I
Miraculously would not die:
When doctors fail let Nature try.