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Address To The Toothache

by Robert Burns

Robert Burns - Scottish Poet
Written when the Author was grievously tormented by that disorder.

My curse upon your venom'd stang,
That shoots my tortur'd gums alang,
And thro' my lugs gies mony a twang,
Wi' gnawing vengeance;
Tearing my nerves wi' bitter pang,
Like racking engines!

When fevers burn, or ague freezes,
Rheumatics gnaw, or colic squeezes;
Our neighbour's sympathy may ease us,
Wi' pitying moan;
But thee - thou hell o' a' diseases!
Aye mocks our groan.

Adown my beard the slavers trickle,
I kick the wee stools o'er the mickle,
As round the fire the giglets keckle
To see me loup;
While, raving mad, I wish a heckle
Were in their doup.

O' a' the numerous human dools,
Ill har'sts, daft bargains, cutty-stools,
Or worthy friends rak'd i' the mools -
Sad sight to see!
The tricks o' knaves, or fash o' fools,
Thou bear'st the gree.

Where'er that place be priests ca' hell,
Whence a' the tones o' mis'ry yell,
And rankèd plagues their numbers tell,
In dreadfu' raw,
Thou. Toothache, surely bear'st the bell
Amang them a'!

O thou grim mischief-making chiel,
That gars the notes of discord squeal,
Till daft mankind aft dance a reel
In gore a shoe-thick; -
Gie a' the foes o' Scotland's weal
A towmond's Toothache!


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