A Complication of Maladies



W HEN I had Cough , or Gravel, Gout , or Fever ,
The Fury had no changes , to relieve her.
'Twas Fever still — 'twas Gout , the Cough , or Gravel;
And the same thread each pain was to unravel;
But now that I have Asthma's wheezing frolick,
Nerves that are shatter'd , and the bilious Colick;
Pains in the Head , and flushes that are hectic ,
With Paralytic hints, or Apoplectic ,
Or subtle Agony that cramps the limbs —
I love them all — and bless them — for their whims .
In due proportion, as their number 's great,
Their anguish is diminish'd by its weight;
They never all unite in the attack,
With Buonaparte's myriads on my back;
But in detachments, like the Indians , fight;
Or, like the Parthians , wound me in their flight;
As each decamps, the Tyrants that remain,
Are petty Kings of a dismember'd reign.
So Doctor South , between the Gout and Stone ,
Made by their change a Heaven of his own.
" It is not Gout , " said he, when Stone was there:
" It is not Stone , " when Gout was in the chair.
In these diversities of pain I live,
And pour them each by turns into the sieve.
How dull is apathy of health or mind,
Which has no comforters like these behind!
'Tis true, that I am never quite at ease,
And that, escaping gnats , I 'm bit with fleas;
But the comparison with absent pain
Disarms the poison'd buckets that remain.
Were mine or yours the indolence of Health,
Euphrosyne would lose her brightest wealth.
Apollo never is in better cue,
Than when he orders pills for me and you;
For, though he does it with a comic air,
Specific is the medicine — for Despair .
Of all Physicians I can lay a fee on,
Be mine the tickling hand of Doctor P ÆON !
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