Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. IX. Tragedy: Humor
Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume IX. Tragedy: Humor.  1904.
Humorous Poems: II. Miscellaneous
Ode to Tobacco
Charles Stuart Calverley (1831–1884)
THOU who, when fears attack,
Bid’st 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 neighbors;
Jones—(who, I ’m glad to say,
Asked leave of Mrs. J.)—        30
Daily absorbs a clay
    After his labors.
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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