William Schwenck Gilbert ( )

The Bab Ballads. Ben Allah Achmet; or, the Fatal Tum

I once did know a Turkish man
   Whom I upon a two-pair-back met,
His name it was Effendi Khan
   Backsheesh Pasha Ben Allah Achmet.

A Doctor Brown I also knew
   Ive often eaten of his bounty;
The Turk and he they lived at Hooe,
   In Sussex, that delightful county!

I knew a nice young lady there,
   Her name was Emily Macpherson,
And though she wore anothers hair,
   She was an interesting person.

The Turk adored the maid of Hooe
   (Although his harem would have shocked her).
But Brown adored that maiden too:
   He was a most seductive doctor.

Theyd follow her whereer shed go
   A course of action most improper;
She neither knew by sight, and so
   For neither of them cared a copper.

Brown did not know that Turkish male,
   He might have been his sainted mother:
The people in this simple tale
   Are total strangers to each other.

One day that Turk he sickened sore,
   And suffered agonies oppressive;
He threw himself upon the floor
   And rolled about in pain excessive.

It made him moan, it made him groan,
   And almost wore him to a mummy.
Why should I hesitate to own
   That pain was in his little tummy?

At length a doctor came, and rung
   (As Allah Achmet had desired),
Who felt his pulse, looked up his tongue,
   And hemmed and hawed, and then inquired:

Where is the pain that long has preyed
   Upon you in so sad a way, sir?
The Turk he giggled, blushed, and said:
   I dont exactly like to say, sir.

Come, nonsense! said good Doctor Brown.
   So this is Turkish coyness, is it?
You must contrive to fight it down
   Come, come, sir, please to be explicit.

The Turk he shyly bit his thumb,
   And coyly blushed like one half-witted,
The pain is in my little tum,
   He, whispering, at length admitted.

Then take you this, and take you that
   Your blood flows sluggish in its channel
You must get rid of all this fat,
   And wear my medicated flannel.

Youll send for me when youre in need
   My name is Brownyour life Ive saved it.
My rival! shrieked the invalid,
   And drew a mighty sword and waved it:

This to thy weazand, Christian pest!
   Aloud the Turk in frenzy yelled it,
And drove right through the doctors chest
   The sabre and the hand that held it.

The blow was a decisive one,
   And Doctor Brown grew deadly pasty,
Now see the mischief that youve done
   You Turks are so extremely hasty.

There are two Doctor Browns in Hooe
   Hes short and stout, Im tall and wizen;
Youve been and run the wrong one through,
   Thats how the error has arisen.

The accident was thus explained,
   Apologies were only heard now:
At my mistake Im really pained
   I am, indeedupon my word now.

With me, sir, you shall be interred,
   A mausoleum grand awaits me.
Oh, pray dont say another word,
   Im sure that more than compensates me.

But praps, kind Turk, youre full inside?
   Theres room, said he, for any number.
And so they laid them down and died.
   In proud Stamboul they sleep their slumber.

William Schwenck Gilbert's other poems:
  1. Songs of a Savoyard. The Darned Mounseer
  2. The Bab Ballads. Sir Macklin
  3. Songs of a Savoyard. The Heavy Dragoon
  4. The Bab Ballads. Thomas Winterbottom Hance
  5. The Bab Ballads. Joe Golightly; or, the First Lords Daughter

 . Poem to print (Print)

: 1068

To English version


. eng-poetry.ru@yandex.ru