Robert Burns

(1759-1796 / Ayrshire / Scotland)

Address To The Tooth-Ache Poem by Robert Burns


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 cholic squeezes;
Our neighbors' sympathy may ease us,
Wi' pitying moan;
But thee -- thou hell o' a' diseases --
They mock our groan!

Adown my beard the slavers trickle!
I throw 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 num'rous 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 rankd plagues their numbers tell,
In dreadfu' raw,
Thou, Tooth-ache, surely bear'st the bell
Amang them a'!

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

Submitted: Sunday, May 13, 2001

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