Epicurean Reminiscences of a Sentimentalist

I THINK it was Spring — but not certain I am —
When my passion began first to work;
But I know we were certainly looking for lamb,
And the season was over for pork.

'Twas at Christmas, I think, when I met with Miss Chase,
Yes, — for Morris had asked me to dine, —
And I thought I had never beheld such a face,
Or so noble a turkey and chine.

Placed close by her side, it made others quite
With sheer envy to witness my luck;
How she blushed as I gave her some turtle, and smiled
As I afterwards offered some duck.

I looked and I languished, alas, to my cost,
Through three courses of dishes and meats;
Getting deeper in love — but my heart was quite lost,
When it came to the trifle and sweets!

With a rent-roll that told of my houses and land,
To her parents I told my designs —
And then to herself I presented my hand,
With a very fine pottle of pines!

I asked her to have me for weal or for woe,
And she did not object in the least; —
I can't tell the date — but we married, I know,
Just in time to have game at the feast.

We went to — — ,it certainly was the seaside;
For the next, the most blessed of morns,
I remember how fondly I gazed at my bride,
Sitting down to a plateful of prawns.

O never may memory lose sight of that year,
But still hallow the time as it ought,
That season the " grass " was remarkably dear,
And the peas at a guinea a quart.

So happy, like hours, all our days seemed to haste,
A fond pair, such as poets have drawn,
So united in heart — so congenial in taste,
We were both of us partial to brawn!

A long life I looked for of bliss with my bride,
But then Death — I ne'er dreamt about that!
Oh there's nothing is certain in life, as I cried,
When my turbot eloped with the cat!

My dearest took ill at the turn of the year,
But the cause no physician could nab;
But something it seemed like consumption, I fear,
It was just after supping on crab.

In vain she was doctored, in vain she was dosed,
Still her strength and her appetite pined;
She lost relish for what she had relished the most,
Even salmon she deeply declined.

For months still I lingered in hope and in doubt,
While her form it grew wasted and thin;
But the last dying spark of existence went out,
As the oysters were just coming in!

She died, and she left me the saddest of men
To indulge in a widower's moan,
Oh, I felt all the power of solitude then,
As I ate my first natives alone!

But when I beheld Virtue's friends in their cloaks,
And with sorrowful crape on their hats,
O my grief poured a flood! and the out-of-door folks
Were all crying — I think it was sprats!
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