This patient must be now trephined
let all the others go;
to-morrow when the sun is up
my magic I’ll them show.
Two men the epileptic bore
and laid him on a trunk,
and when the wretch was coming round
he showed some signs of funk.
No question put they to the man;
the doctor cleared his throat,
then, bringing flints from out his hut,
took off his hairy coat.
A crowd had gathered all around,
to watch the bloody deed;
their curiosity was stirred
to see his devil freed.
With sharp flint flake the surgeon made
a cruciform incision;
the blood did spurt, the wound it hurt,
the crowd laughed in derision.
The two assistants pressed the flaps
to stop the blood from running;
The Medicine-Man did scheme and plan,
he was so full of cunning.
He scraped the pericranium,
until the skull was bare;
then scratched the bone with a sharp stone,
it did not matter where.
He scraped that bone and scratched and scraped
the scratches made a groove,
the groove a basin-like eclipse,
the patient did not move.
The fact was this, when he came round
so rotten did he feel,
he fainted when he found himself
the centre of such zeal.
The hollow soon became a hole,
t’was all but through the bone,
his diploe, you well might see,
but still he made no moan.
The inner table only now
protected his soft brain,
one final scrape and he did make
that hole a window-pane.
The devil stirred within his skull
and, with a fearful yell,
escaped from out its prison-house
to seek its own in hell.
Some years ago came across this poem by an unknown writer, so thought it would be nice to share, this slice of fun. Thankfully surgery has moved forward…