Today I beg of thee to heed my warning

At thirty five, in the prime of my youth,

Eyes white, vision clear and sharp,

Could see at distance what none did see,

And thread a needle in the dimmest of lights.

My blood vessels, the doc said,

Were pink and radiant with pride;

And swollen with bright red blood,

Flowing freely and unhindered.


My veins, he said, were pounding

At every beat of my heart

While the arteries looked on quietly as if unconcerned.

I revelled in delight and contempt

For those who saw not what I saw

And felt ‘twas all their fault

For if they’d cared

They need not come to this.


Now at fifty, still strong and agile,

Could walk ten miles and more

Without a stop to gasp for breath,

But ‘cause of my failing sight,

I dared not walk the streets alone.

How I came to this I do not know.

Doc said I have Glaucoma,

And delayed my coming just too long.


Two pictures he flashed before my feeble eyes,

The first, he said, he took 15 years ago,

Could see was bright and radiant,

But of the second a few moments ago,

Even with my failing sight,

Could see was dull, white and horrid

All the radiance’s gone and pride buried.

The inside of my eyes, doc said, was but a sorry sight,

And nothing but prayer could restore.


Today, I beg thee to heed my warning,

Spare the time for your eyes to check.

And ask the doc to look out for the dreaded one

So it can keep its distance from you.

And keep you from walking the path I trod.

Glaucoma, see what you’ve done to me.

Robbing me of my most valuable sight,

Making an old man of me at fifty.

All the radiance’s gone and pride buried”