[Page 30]

To Dr. Richard Helsham
[ed.] "Dr Richard Helsham (1682/3-1738), physician and scientist in Dublin, was Swift's personal physician and friend." (Tucker [1992], 209) (AH)

Upon my Recovery from a dangerous Fit of Sickness.

1 For fleeting Life recall'd, for Health restor'd,
2 Be first the God of Life and Health ador'd;
3 Whose boundless Mercy claims this Tribute due:
4 And next to Heav'n, I owe my Thanks to you;
5 To you, who feel the Ease your Med'cines give,
6 And, in reviving Patients, doubly live;
7 You, who from Nature's Dictates never stray;
8 But wisely wait, till she points out the Way:
9 Where-e'er she leads, unerring, you pursue
10 Her mazy System, op'ning to your View.
11 In you reviv'd we Ratcliff's Genius see,
12 Heighten'd by Learning and Humanity.
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13 With Ease all Nature's Secrets you explore,
14 And to the noblest Heights of Science soar.
15 Your Thoughts, unbounded, travel with the Sun;
16 And see attendant Worlds around him run;
17 Which trace their distant Courses thro' the Sky,
18 Nor fly his Throne too far, nor press too nigh.
19 The wise and wond'rous Laws you clearly know,
20 Which rule those Worlds above, and this below.
21 The World of Life, which we obscurely see,
22 In all its Wonders, is survey'd by thee:
23 And thou in ev'ry Part canst something find,
24 To praise thy Maker, and to bless thy Kind:
25 Quick to discern, judicious to apply,
26 Your Judgment clear, and piercing, as your Eye:
27 Ev'n Med'cines, in your wise Prescriptions, please;
28 And are no more the Patient's worst Disease.
29 Goodness, and Skill, and Learning less than thine,
30 Rais'd Æsculapius to the Realms divine.


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About this text

Title (in Source Edition): To Dr. Richard Helsham. Upon my Recovery from a dangerous Fit of Sickness.
Author: Mary Barber
Themes: medicine; illness; injury
Genres: occasional poem; panegyric; address
References: DMI 11343

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Source edition

Barber, Mary, ca. 1690-1757. Poems on Several Occasions [poems only]. London: Printed for C. Rivington, at the Bible and Crown in St. Paul's Church-Yard, 1734, pp. 30-31. xlviii,283,[7]p.; 8⁰. (ESTC T42622; DMI 519; Foxon p. 45) (Page images digitized from a copy in the Bodleian Library [Harding C 3644].)

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Other works by Mary Barber