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You get for breakfast from the Sussex Downs,

Ending, one need not say, with lobster after. Such prandium's pleasant when the quick waves

whiten, And Château d'Yquem the slight banquet crowns,

And there is ample room for love and laughter.

1871.

FEBRUARY.

From Périgord to Paris there's a path

Brightened by truffles-diamonds culinary.

Though now with game our feasts we may not vary, Yet a delicious flavour widgeon bath, And we may find a pleasant aftermath

To cheer the febrile days of February.

Lo, now flies flicker, and the trout grows wary: Now, excellent are goslings, plump though rathe. And I maintain a moderate man can dine, Though epicures fastidious may demur,

[I of plain dinners am a hearty lover] On fresh-caught trout (Sauterne should be the wine) A few lamb cutlets served with cucumber,

And, last of all, a brace of golden plover.

1870.

MARCH.

This is the month that comes in like a lion:

It give us dust .. a peck of that same handsome

Dust is called worthy of a great king's ransom. The oyster's perfect now-that glorious scion Of King Poseidon. Nothing new to try on

The damask white appears. Still I may scan some

Reasons against your being quite impransum In windy March. What if you choose to fry an Eel from the Thames .

a very useful riverWhat if you get lamb curiously early, And make your grumbling gardener force some

mint, I think-although the March winds make you shiver, And the cook 's sulky and the gardener's surly

If you can't manage to dine, the devil's in 't.

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1871.

APRIL

Thon beautiful Aprilis, month well named

By reason that all things thou openest,

Whether the fair flower or the maiden's breast, Or aught that is delicious and unshamed

And perfect in its beauty. Am I blamed

For writing of sweet spring with joyous zest,

When the wicked cuckoo steals an alien nest, When woods are musical with wings untamed ? This will I say of April : he who knows

The true administration of the kitchen

Garden, and puts a clever little witch in
His culinary corner, safely grows

Green peas the vernal joint of lamb to suit,
And his asparagus is absolute.

1871.

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May brings us salmon, mullet, trout, and prawn:

Red Arun mullet, stewed in sound port wine,

• The woodcock of the sea,' is food divine. Lobsters are pleasant on the picnic lawn, When lilacs are in bloom, and corks are drawn

Of Chablis or Montrachet. When you dine,

Pigeons and quails, in leafage of the vine Enwrapt, forget not-nor the dorée jaune. May is the merry month when subtle tackle

Woos spotted darlings from the sinuous stream: In May old hens to guard their ducklings cackle,

And turkey poults attain the stage supreme. Perfect asparagus is, and vernal spinach, And tiny whitebait throng the Thames at Greenwich.

JUNE.

O perfect period of the sweet birds' tune,

Of Philomel and Procne, known to fable ;

Of wayward morns, and never utterable
Joys of the evenglome, beneath the moon !
Cool be thy food, O gourmand, runs the Rune:

Pigeon and quail are suited to the table;

Anchovy and sardine are noticeable; Red mullet, first of fish, is prime in June, Richmond and Greenwich tempt the Londoner To dine where Thames is cool, and whitebait crisp,

And soft the manners are and lax the morals. But I (when twilight's breezes swiftly stir, Rob the rich roses, through the woodbine lisp)

Dine on my lawn, hedged in by limes and laurels.

1870.

JULY.

July,—the month of odorous orange flowers,

Welcome at nuptial banquets. Helios rages,
And on the southern wall

grow

brown the gages, And melons mellow through the scorching hours; Cherries and strawberries come in luscious showers;

Cool cream of Devon the acid touch assuages

Delectable to deipnosophic sages; Through the full-foliaged copse the leveret scours.

Flutters the wheatear now, and sails the plover

Whoso is wise the latter bird will roast,

And serve him, smoking on anchovy toast.
What else? Blue borage flowers; and so the lover

Of cooling drinks, with claret-cup may try
To mitigate the fervour of July.

1870.

AUGUST.

August arrives. We enter the august

Portal of autumn, graced by delicate clusters

Of grapes grown purple under noontide lustres, Whence the white feet of girls shall tread the must Of a great vintage. But the perilous dust

Of battle rises, and the War Fiend blusters,

And, as along the Rhine each army musters, Its vineyards shudder at the sword's sharp thrust. Still rolls the year: adjourns the Commons' House :

Peers to their parks and prelates to their cloisters Return: for lo, the Twelfth brings back the Grouse

Even as the famous Fourth is opening Oysters. Birds and mollusks to the Epicure most dearAlas, and dearer every mortal year!

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