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    Address to the Toothache

    by Robert Burns
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    ["I had intended," says Burns to Creech, 30th May, 1789, "to have
    troubled you with a long letter, but at present the delightful
    sensation of an omnipotent toothache so engrosses all my inner man, as
    to put it out of my power even to write nonsense." The poetic Address
    to the Toothache seems to belong to this period.]

    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.
    If you're writing a Address to the Toothache essay and need some advice, post your Robert Burns essay question on our Facebook page where fellow bookworms are always glad to help!

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