There Was A Young Man Of Back Bay

There was a young man of Back Bay,
Who thought syphilis just went away,
And felt that a chancre,
Was merely a canker,
That went away in a week and a day.
Now at first he got acne vulgaris,
The kind that is rampant in Paris,
It covered his skin,
From forehead to shin,
And his friends all ask where his hair is.
With symptoms increasing in number,
His aorta’s in need of a plumber,
His heart is cavorting,
His wife is aborting,
And now he’s acquired a gumma.
Consider his terrible plight,
His eyes won’t react to the light,
His hands are apraxic,
His gait is ataxic,
And he’s developing gun-barrel sight.
His passions are strong, as before,
But his penis is flaccid, and sore,
His wife now has tabes
And sabre-shinned babies,
She’s really worse off than a wh*re.
There are pains in his belly and knees,
His sphincters have gone by degrees,
Paroxysmal incontinence,
With all its concomitants,
Brings on quite unpredictable pees.
Though treated in every known way,
His spirochetes grow day by day,
He’s developed paresis,
Converses with Jesus,
And thinks he’s the Queen of the May.

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