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THE KITCHEN RUBAIYAT

Wake, for the Alarm Clock scatters into Plight
The variegated Nightmares of the Night;
Allures the Gas into the Kitchen Range
And pleads for Rolls and Muffins that are Light.

Before the Splendor of the last Dream died
Methought a Voice from out my Doorway cried:
"When all the Breakfast is Prepared for him
Why doth my lord within his Crib abide?"

And, as the cat Purred, she who was Before
Within the Kitchen shouted: "Guard the Door!
Else this new Bridget will have Flown the Coop
And, once Departed, will Return no More!"

All maids in sight the Wise One gladly Hires
And one of them she Presently acquires,
Yet toward the Bureau does not fail to Look
Because all Maids, as well as Men, are liars.

For Mary Ann has gone, with all her Woes,
And Dinah, too, has fled where, no one knows,
But still a Bridget from the Bureau comes
And many a Tells of her Reference blows.

Come, fill the Cup, and let the Kettle Sing!
The Cream and Sugar and Hot Water bring!
Methinks this fragrant liquid amber here
Within the Pot, is pretty much the Thing.

Each Morn a thousand Cereals brings, you say?
Yes, but where leaves the Food of Yesterday?
And this same Grocer man that sells us Nerve
Shall take Pa's Wheat and Mother's Oats away.

For lo, my small Back Yard is thickly Strown
With Si-Tee-Munch, Chew-Chew, and Postman's Own
Where Apple-Nuts and Strength have been Forgot
Ah, how these Papers by the Winds are Blown!

The tender Waffle hearts are Set upon
Is either Crisp or Soggy, and Anon
Like Maple Syrup made of corn and Cobs
Lasts but a scant Five Minutes, and is Gone.

I often think that never gets so Red
My flowerlike Nose as when I've just been Fed
And after Breakfast, in the Glass I look,
And never Fail to Wish that I were dead.

And this faint Sallow Place upon my Mien
How came it There? From that fair Coffee Bean?
Ah, take the Glass away! Make Haste unless
You want to see my Whole Complexion green.

When I was Younger, I did oft Frequent
The Married Bunch, and heard Great Argument
About the Fearful Price of Eggs, and
How To get a Dollar's Work out of a Cent.

And when I asked them of their Recompense,
What did they Get for Keeping Down Expense
Oh, many a cup of Coffee, Steaming Hot,
Must drown the Memory of their Insolence!

If I were Married 't would be my Desire
To get up Every Morn and Build the Fire
For fear my Husband should use Kerosene,
And, without warning, be transported Higher.



Ah, with the Coffee all my Years provide!
Its chemicals may turn me green Inside,
But all my Fears are Scattered to the Winds
When o'er the fragrant Pot I can Preside.

I blame our Mother Eve, who did mistake
Her Job, and flirted Somewhat with the Snake,
For all the Errors of the Flaky Roll,
For all the Terrors of the Buckwheat Cake.

A glass of Creamy Milk Just from the Cow,
Or Buttermilk, drawn from the Goat, I trow,
And thou across the Festal Board from Me,
A Six-Room Flat were Paradise enow!

Some for a Patent Bread that will not Crumb,
And nary Bite of Cereal for Some
Ah, take the Coffee! Let all else go by
Nor heed the Thick White Fur upon the Tongue.

Look to the Human Wrecks about us: lo,
About their Indigestion how they Blow,
And lay the Blame on Coffee, crystal Clear,
Or say the Crisp Hot Muffin is their Foe!

And those who chew and chew upon the Grain,
Have got so used to Chewing, they are Fain
To Dwell upon their Health Food in their Talk
And presently their Neighbors go Insane.

____________


FOOT-NOTES

1. The author began with the intention of adapting the entire Rubaiyat to kitchen purposes, but thought better of it just in time to head off the Lyric Muse, who was coming at full gallop, with her trunk.

2. Those who do not like The Kitchen Rubaiyat will doubtless be glad there is no more of it.

3. Those who do like it can begin at the beginning and read it again. The rest of it would be about like this installment, anyway.

P. S. If the demand is great enough, the rest of it may appear in another book.

P. S. 2. The publisher of this book has an unalterable prejudice against printing poetry, but he allowed The Kitchen Rubaiyat to slip by without question.

P. S. 3.?


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