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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 -
I've 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 another's 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.

They'd follow her where'er she'd 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 don't 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.

"You'll send for me when you're in need -
My name is BROWN - your life I've 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 doctor's 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 you've done -
You Turks are so extremely hasty.

"There are two DOCTOR BROWNS in Hooe -
HE'S short and stout, I'M tall and wizen;
You've been and run the wrong one through,
That's how the error has arisen."

The accident was thus explained,
Apologies were only heard now:
"At my mistake I'm really pained -
I am, indeed - upon my word now.

"With me, sir, you shall be interred,
A mausoleum grand awaits me."
"Oh, pray don't say another word,
I'm sure that more than compensates me.

"But p'r'aps, kind Turk, you're full inside?"
"There's room," said he, "for any number."
And so they laid them down and died.
In proud Stamboul they sleep their slumber.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

2:48 min read
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William Schwenck Gilbert

Sir William Schwenck Gilbert was an English dramatist librettist poet and illustrator best known for his fourteen comic operas produced in collaboration with the composer Sir Arthur Sullivan of which the most famous include HMS Pinafore The Pirates of Penzance and one of the most frequently performed works in the history of musical theatre The Mikado These as well as most of their other Savoy operas continue to be performed regularly throughout the English-speaking world and beyond by opera companies repertory companies schools and community theatre groups Lines from these works have become part of the English language such as short sharp shock What never Well hardly ever and Let the punishment fit the crime Gilbert also wrote the Bab Ballads an extensive collection of light verse accompanied by his own comical drawings His creative output included over 75 plays and libretti numerous stories poems lyrics and various other comic and serious pieces His plays and realistic style of stage direction inspired other dramatists including Oscar Wilde and George Bernard Shaw According to The Cambridge History of English and American Literature Gilberts lyrical facility and his mastery of metre raised the poetical quality of comic opera to a position that it had never reached before and has not reached since Source - Wikipedia more…

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