Nonfiction > Lionel Strachey, et al., eds. > The World’s Wit and Humor > British
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The World’s Wit and Humor: An Encyclopedia in 15 Volumes.  1906.
Vols. VI–IX: British
 
Ode to Tobacco
By Charles Stuart Calverley (1831–1884)
 
From “Fly Leaves”

THOU, who, when fears attack,
Bidst them avaunt, and black
Care, at the horseman’s back
      Perching, unseatest;
Sweet when the morn is gray,        5
Sweet when they’ve cleared away
Lunch; and at close of day
      Possibly sweetest:
 
I have a liking old
For thee, though manifold        10
Stories, I know, are told
      Not to thy credit:
How one (or two at most)
Drops make a cat a ghost—
Useless except to roast—        15
      Doctors have said it.
 
How they who use fusees
All grow by slow degrees
Brainless as chimpanzees,
      Meagre as lizards;        20
Go mad, and beat their wives;
Plunge (after shocking lives),
Razors and carving-knives
      Into their gizzards.
 
Confound such knavish tricks!        25
Yet know I five or six
Smokers who freely mix
      Still with their neighbours.
Jones (who, I’m glad to say,
Asked leave of Mrs. J.)        30
Daily absorbs a clay
      After his labours.
 
Cats may have had their goose
Cooked by tobacco-juice;
Still why deny its use        35
      Thoughtfully taken?
We’re not as tabbies are.
Smith, take a fresh cigar!
Jones, the tobacco-jar!
      Here’s to thee, Bacon!        40
 
 
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