The Old-Fashioned Cooks By Edgar Albert Guest

The Old-Fashioned Cooks

Poets have sung of the old-fashioned glories
The old-fashioned pictures that hung on the wall,
The old-fashioned people, the old-fashioned stories,
The old-fashioned fashions they love to recall;
The squeaky armchair that our grandmothers sat in,
The old-fashioned shelves with their old-fashioned books,
Immortalized have been in Saxon or Latin,
But I sing my song to the old-fashioned cooks.

O come, all ye gods! and give grace to my ballad,
Today I would sing as I ne’er sang before;
I ‘m heartsick of dining on lettuce and salad,
And canned goods warmed over delight me no more.
I wish I could go once again to a dinner
That badn’t been planned out of style sheets or books —
They may be all right for a sweet young beginner,
But they were not needed by old-fashioned cooks.

How well I remember the table cloth spotless,
The dishes that shone like the cheek of a child,
The jellies and relishes, O, there were not less
Than eight or nine kinds on the festive board piled.
There were no little dabs served to make you ungrateful,
They took it for granted, I guess, from your looks
That hunger was yours, and they gave you a plateful
Of viands most toothsome, those old-fashioned cooks!

You came to their tables to eat, not to chatter,
And heaped were the plates that they passed up to you;
In richest of gravies the meat in the platter
Was swimming, and side dishes never were few.
They fed us with plenty, not starved us with fashion,
They gave us enough and they cared not for looks,
And just now with me it is almost a passion —
I yearn for a dinner by old-fashioned cooks.


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