From The Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia
- in The Poems of Arthur Conan Doyle - Collected Edition (21 september 1922, John Murray [UK])
- in The Poems of Arthur Conan Doyle - Collected Edition (14 september 1928, John Murray [UK])
The Soul to the Body
So sorry, dear old friend, you have to die.
We've been such goodly partners, you and I,
Such comrades in our work, and mates at play,
We've lived together many a happy day.
It's only lately that you disappoint.
Sluggish in limb and clogged in every joint ;
But that is not your fault, for grim old Time
Has blocked your tiny arteries with lime.
And cut your sap and left its withering trace
In every wrinkle of your dear old face.
No, faithful comrade, I have nought but praise ;
If there were fault, 'twas mine. You walked the ways
On which I led you, be they low or high.
Thanks for all services ! And so good-bye !
The Body to the Soul
Good-bye, old friend ! You've used me many a year.
And, as you say, I'm rather out of gear,
And quite disposed to rest. No doubt you'll find
Some other form congenial to your mind.
And moulded on this wreck you leave behind.
For that, they say, persists. May it be one
That serves you faithfully, as I have done.
Of course its right our partnership to sever
Since I am old and you as young as ever.
I'll find some cancer cell or handy germ
To bring my waning forces to a term
And break the framework of the old machine.
Then down at Woking or at Golder's Green
They'll do the trick. And you, friend, from afar,
Will see the oaken chest or cinder jar,
And know that I have gone without a pang
Back to the elements from which I sprang.