Epistle to Mrs. Tyler

First then for custards, my dear Mary,

The produce of your dainty dairy.

For stewed, for baked, for boiled, for roast,

And all the teas and all the toast;

With thankful tongue and bowing attitude,

I here present you with my gratitude:

Next for your apples, pears and plums

Acknowledgement in order comes;

For wine, for ale, for fowl, for fish, for

Even all one’s appetite can wish for

But O ye pens, and o ye pencils,

And all ye scribbling utensils,

Say in what words and in what metre,

Shall unfeigned admiration greet her,

For that rich banquet so refined

Her conversation gave the mind;

The solid meal of sense and worth,

Set off by the dessert of mirth;

With fruit and pleasure’s genial bowl,

And all the joyous flow of soul;

For these and every kind ingredient

That formed your love -your most obedient.

Christopher Smart (1722-1771)

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