When Nerves Are Dead
When the nerve is alive, and the dentist cuts and grinds,
There are fully fifty pains he invariably finds
There are pains that are hot, there are pains that are cold,
There are big and swelling pains that the mouth can hardly hold,
There are pains like a needle, there are pains like a saw,
There are pains that explode and other pains that gnaw—
When the nerve of the tooth is alive.
When the nerve is dead, let the dentist grind away,
You can sit and smile, quite at ease and even gay;
He can do his worst, and he doesn’t hurt a bit,
He can chisel and bore and you hardly think of it.
But the tooth, alas! needs the nerve to keep it well
And it soon decays and becomes a brittle shell
When the nerve of the tooth is dead.
When the nerve of the soul is alive to sin and woe,
How we groan at wrongs, and we will not have them so,
How we sigh and weep at the weary lot of man,
How we tug and pull just to help the best we can,
How we heal the sick, how we bolster up the weak,
How we range afar as the wretched lost we seek,
When the nerve of the soul is alive.
When the nerve of the soul is dead we live at ease,
Sin, woe, and want,—let them ravage as they please.
Let the wicked rule, let the weary faint and fall,
We are deaf and blind to the sorrow of it all.
But alas! for the soul as it slowly shrinks away, As it rots and fades in an ugly, swift decay,
When the nerve of the soul is dead.