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ADDRESS TO THE TOOTHACH, #
WRITTEN WHEN THE AUTHOR WAS GRIEVOUSLY
TORMENTED BY THAT DISORDER.
My curse upon thy venom'd stang,
Wi' gnawing vengeance;
Like racking engines !
When fevers burn, or ague freezes,
Wi' pitying moan;
Aye mocks our groan !
Adown my beard the slavers trickle!
# Burns suffered much from this disease. In a letter from Ellisland, in May, 1789, he complains of “ an omnipotent tooth-ache engrossing all his inner man.”
To see me loup;
Were in their doup.
Sad sight to see!
Thou bear`st the gree.
In dreadfu' raw,
Amang them a'!
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 Toothach!
WRITTEN WITH A PENCIL
OVER THE CHIMNEY-PIECE IN THE PARLOUR OF THE INN
AT KENMORE, TAYMOUTH.
ADMIRING Nature in her wildest grace,
My savage journey, curious, I pursue, ,
view.The meeting cliffs each deep-sunk glen divides, The woods, wild scattered, clothe their ample sides; Th' outstretching lake, imbosom'd 'mong the hills, The eye
with wonder1 and amazement fills; The Tay meand’ring sweet in infant pride, The palace rising on his verdant side; The lawns wood-fringed in Nature's native taste; The hillocks dropt in Nature's careless haste; The arches striding o'er the new-born stream; The village, glittering in the noontide beam— 2
Poetic ardours in my bosom swell,
cell : The sweeping theatre of hanging woods; Th’ incessant roar of headlong tumbling floods
Here Poesy might wake her heav'n-taught lyre, And look through Nature with creative fire; Here, to the wrongs of Fate half reconcild, Misfortune's lighten'd steps might wander wild; And Disappointment, in these lonely bounds, Find balm to sooth her bitter rankling wounds :
2 In a copy supposed to be in Burns' hand writing these lines stand thus :
The Tay meand’ring sweet in infant pride,
Sweet flow'ret, pledge o' meikle love,
And ward o'mony a prayer,
Sae helpless, sweet, and fair.
* These verses were written on the birth of a posthumous child of Mrs. Henri, the widow of a French gentleman, and a daughter of the poet's friend, Mrs. Dunlop. In a letter to that lady, dated in November, 1790, in reply to one, informning him of her daughter's confinement, Burns says, “As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country.' Fate has long owed me a letter of good news from you, in return for the many tidings of sorrow which I have received. In this instance I most cordially obey the apostle-• Rejoice with them that do rejoice'--for me to sing for joy is no new thing; but to preach for joy, as I have done in the commencement of this epistle, is a pitch of extravagant rapture to which I never rose before. I read your letter
literally jumped for joy—How could such a mercurial creature as a poet lumpishly keep his seat on the receipt of the best news from his best friend? I seized my gilt-headed wangee rod, an instrument indispensably necessary, in my left band, in the moment of inspiration and rapture; and stride, stride-quick and quicker-out skipped I among the broomy banks of Nith, to muse over my joy by retail. To keep within the bounds of prose was impossible. Mrs. Little's is a more elegant, but not a more sincere compliment to the sweet little fellow than I, extempore almost, poured out to him, in the following verses.
The “little Floweret” and its mother are often mentioned in Burns' letters to Mrs. Dunlop. On the 7th February,