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