Address to the Toothache (Poem by Robert Burns)

Old Poem

Address to the Toothache
By Robert Burns

My curse upon thy 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 neighbours’ sympathy may ease us,
                Wi’ pitying moan;
But thee — thou hell o’ a’ diseases,
                Ay 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 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 bears’t the gree.

Where’er that place be priests ca’ hell,
Whence a’ the tones o’ mis’ry yell,
And ranked 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 squeel,
’Till daft mankind aft dance a reel
                In gore a shoe-thick! — 
Gie’ a’ the faes o’ Scotland’s weal
                A towmond’s Toothache.

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