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Title: "Elegy on a Sore Toe," Poem by Robert T. Hall, November 15, 1842: Electronic Edition.
Author: Hall, Robert Troy, b. 1823
Editor: Erika Lindemann
Funding from the State Library of North Carolina supported the electronic publication of this title.
Text transcribed by Erika Lindemann
Images scanned by Mara E. Dabrishus
Text encoded by Risa Mulligan
First Edition, 2005
Size of electronic edition: ca. 14K
Publisher: The University Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
The electronic edition is a part of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill digital library, Documenting the American South.
Languages used in the text: English
Revision history:
2005-04-28, Risa Mulligan finished TEI/XML encoding
Part of a series:
This transcribed document is part of a digital collection, titled True and Candid Compositions: The Lives and Writings of Antebellum Students in North Carolina
written by Lindemann, Erika
Title of collection: University Papers (#40005), University Archives, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Title of document: "Elegy on a Sore Toe," Poem by [Robert T. Hall], November 15, 1842
Author: Robert T. Hall
Description: 2 pages, 2 page images
Note: Call number 40005 (University Archives, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
Topics covered:
Examples of Student Writing/Fiction, Poetry, Character Sketches
Travel and Entertainment/Social Events
Editorial practices
The text has been encoded using the recommendations for Level 5 of the TEI in Libraries Guidelines.
Transcript of the personal correspondence. Originals are in the University Archives, Manuscript Department, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Original grammar, punctuation, and spelling have been preserved.
DocSouth staff created a 600 dpi uncompressed TIFF file for each image. The TIFF images were then saved as JPEG images at 100 dpi for web access.
Page images can be viewed and compared in parallel with the text.
Any hyphens occurring in line breaks have been removed, and the trailing part of a word has been joined to the preceding line.
Letters, words and passages marked as deleted or added in originals have been encoded accordingly.
All quotation marks, em dashes and ampersand have been transcribed as entity references.
All double right and left quotation marks are encoded as ".
All single right and left quotation marks are encoded as '.
All em dashes are encoded as —
Indentation in lines has not been preserved.

For more information about transcription and other editorial decisions, see Dr. Erika Lindemann's explanation under the section Editorial Practices.

Document Summary

Hall's humorous verse details the inconveniences caused by a sore toe.
"Elegy on a Sore Toe," Poem by Robert T. Hall , November 15, 18421
Hall, Robert Troy, b. 1823

Page 1
Elegy on a sore toe
Nov 15th 18422
Oh that I had the enchanted pen
Whose words were write in blood and fire
Which were indellible3; for then
I'd gratify my own desire
And to all future ages show
The sorrows of my poor old toe
My poor old toe How long have you
with stick and stump and stone contended
Your thwacks and thumps have not been few
And well I wish that they were ended
But yet they come and none can know
when they will ceace. My poor old toe
What have I done that I should bear
The pains and sufferings of this sore
I am no worse than others are
Then why should I be punished more
I know not why but it is sore
And I cant cure my poor old toe
Tis something strange indeed to me
When ere I walk in crowds or lone
Just in my path there'll always be
Some obstacle a block or stone
And thus you see where'ere I go
I'm sure to stump4 my poor old toe
A dozen folks may with me walk
And each may have like me ten toes
Yet while unhurt they laugh and talk
I writhe beneath the killing blows
which every moment fill with woe
unutterable my poor old toe5
Tis said Lord Byron used to curse
His illstared fate which made him lame
And surely his was nothing worse
Than mine, since mine is just the same
Except his foot was lame you know
with me it was my poor old toe—
Tis natural that man should long
When parties, weddings, balls abound
To join in dance the giddy throng
when ere the dancing time comes round
But I can't dance or act the beau
Because 'twould kill my poor old toe
I cannot even walk with grace
With ladies fair, (oh sad misfortune)
In each and every time and place
My ill luck still does me importune
For I must limp and thereby show
The D—l is in my poor old toe

Page 2
And now my friends Ive nearly done
This elegy upon my toe
I almost wish Id not begun
I almost wish Id not begun
But since tis write Ill let it go
And thus expose my poor old toe
But ere I ceace this plaintive strain
This sad momento of my evil
I'll tell you one and all quite plain
I wish my toe was at the devil
For now an everlasting foe
Attends me in my poor old toe—6
Chapel Hill Nov 15th 1842


1. University Papers, UA. Four poems appear on the fours sides a folded sheet measuring 7 3/4 by 12 5/8 inches: "Elegy on a sore toe," "Parody," "An Enigma," and "Charade." In the gutter between pages two and three, a second hand has written "Robt Hall poetry." Although the poems are unsigned, the handwriting is consistent with the script of documents signed by Robert Hall and housed in the Anne Troy Hall Papers, SHC.

2. Nov is written over unrecovered characters.

3. Hall superimposed a over i (or vice versa).

4. Hall wrote slump.

5. Hall wrote loe.

6. At a later date Hall wrote "Cork Meank" between this line and the next.