Angelo Orders His Dinner.

Bayard Taylor.

I, Angelo, obese, black-garmented,
Respectable, much in demand, well fed
With mine own larder’s dainties,— where, indeed,
Such cakes of myrrh or fine alyssum seed,
Thin as a mallow-leaf, embrowned o’ the top,
Which, cracking, lets the ropy, trickling drop
Of sweetness touch your tongue, or potted nests
Which my recondite recipe invests
With cold conglomerate tidbits ah, the bill!
(You say,) but given it were mine to fill
My chests, the case so put were yours, we’ll say,
(This counter, here, your post, as mine to-day,)
And you’ve an eye to luxuries, what harm
In smoothing down your palate with the charm
Yourself concocted? There we issue take;
And see! as thus across the rim I break
This puffy paunch of glazed embroidered cake,
So breaks, through use, the lust of watering chaps
And craveth plainness: do I so? Perhaps;
But that’s my secret. Find me such a man
As Lippo yonder, built upon the plan
Of heavy storage, double-navelled, fat
From his own giblets’ oil, an Ararat
Uplift o’er water, sucking rosy draughts
From Noah’s vineyard, —… crisp, enticing wafts
Yon kitchen now emits, which to your sense
Somewhat abate the fear of old events,
Qualms to the stomach,— I, you see, am slow
Unnecessary duties to forgo,—
You understand? A venison haunch, haut goût,
Ducks that in Cimbrian olives mildly stew,
And sprigs of anise, might one’s teeth provoke
To taste, and so we wear the complex yoke
Just as it suits,— my liking, I confess,
More to receive, and to partake no less,
Still more obese, while through thick adipose
Sensation shoots, from testing tongue to toes
Far-off, dim-conscious, at the body’s verge,
Where the froth-whispers of its waves emerge
On the untasting sand. Stay, now! a seat
Is bare: I, Angelo, will sit and eat.