Florence Nightingale

Find this poem and many more in Poems from the Heart of Nursing: Selected Poems from The American Journal of Nursing


by Mae Peregrine, RN

The words that we would say in praise of her

We cannot speak, and vainly try to sing.

She blazed the trail that we are following, —

We who are privileged to minister.

The love that in her heart was wont to stir,

Love that brought comfort to the suffering,

That conquered death, or took away its sting,

Has been to us an impetus, a spur.

And so we lay our lives where hers was laid,

Upon the altar of pure sacrifice;

We would face pain and danger unafraid,

And when our way through shadowy places lies,

Would follow in the path her feet have made,

Would live a life like hers, that never dies.

copyright 2013 American Nurses Association; all rights reserved.

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