What The Soul of The Young Man Said to The Waiter

Tell me not in figures wavy

That my bill is twelve-and-nine,

When I had but soup of gravy,

Steak, potatoes, cheese and wine.

I’m a poet, I’m a rhymer,

Hardly versed in traders’ tricks,

But a pint of Laubenheimer

Ought not to be four-and-six.

Though I’m not at all unwilling

To assist you to success,

I must say I think a shilling

Far too much for watercress.

Bills are long and cash is fleeting,

And I wish to make it clear

That the bill you are receipting

Is the last I settle here.

When you’ve fleeced your guests and fined them,

I may venture to explain,

They will shake their dust behind them,

And they won’t come back again.

So I leave you, poorer, sadder,

Lest you make me poorer still;

Sharper than the biting adder

Is the adder of the bill.

Adrian Ross (1859 – 1933

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