The Ghost of Burke


O H , silly Tooth! in silly head oppress'd,
That hop'd an Eastern bed could give thee rest!
That hop'd a Pilgrim , new to Asia's guilt,
Would never catch it from the sheets or quilt!
It is the bane of these Calcutta beds,
That none can press them but with tortur'd heads;
You met this ******, florid, plump, and sleek,
The very night before I heard him shriek.
Oh, once belov'd! a moment gave thy name
To Burke's applause, and that applause was fame.
'Twas when, though listed on the side of Pitt ,
On the Rohilla War you spurn'd the bit;
With manly eloquence for Honour spoke,
And curs'd the Tyrant's desolating stroke.
Not all thy eloquence, nor Folly's crime,
The rage that litters half the bed with rhyme,
Can make me hate thee, or the palm refuse
To that one moment's elevated views!
'Twas I that made thee pass his flaring coach,
And gave thee hints to mar the next approach;
'Twas I who prompted that, for Teeth inflam'd,
A venison-pasty's fragment should be nam'd;
I told thee at the Hall , with piteous look,
(You thought me Farren ,) they had lost their Cook.
Impell'd by Fate monition to refuse,
To roar with anguish, and a Tooth to lose;
You would be chattering with a rosy maid;
You would by her in Persian tents be laid:
Observ'd you not that, when the pan she bore,
It fell — and the indignant maiden swore?
'Twas I that pinch'd her well, and made her swear,
Till she uplifted all thy ragged hair.
In vain the rats, that are no friends to rhyme,
With shrieks advis'd thee to decamp in time.
But when, poor thing, with agony half-bent,
I saw thee lifted into Asia's tent,
The rest was fate; no more I could avert
The Hero's torture in the poison'd shirt.
Alas! I heard thee like Alcides roar,
When the avenging Rival's gift he bore.
The Ideot from Landillo fill'd the cup,
Stirr'd Hecate's fell charm, and bound it up,
Till sense and judgment from Carmarthen came,
But, like poor Semele's gallant, in flame.
Again I heard thee (from this hallow'd scene)
In anguish at the lingering guillotine:
'Tis past! — the Tooth is gone! — the abscess heal'd!
Beware of India , though in Cambria's field.
The Munny Begums and Cheyt Sing pervade,
If India buys it, Nature's peaceful shade.
The Ghost of Nuncomar in ******' s hall
Writes a vindictive spell upon the wall.
Be wise, nor ever tempt an Eastern bed,
Or all your Teeth are twisted from your head.
Beware! I go to the Elysian shade,
Of no impatient auditors afraid;
From the decision of the Lords appeal,
And force the Wits to hear, the Knaves to feel.
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