The Gourmet’s Love Song

How strange is Love; I am not one

  Who Cupid's power belittles,

For Cupid 'tis who makes me shun

   My customary victuals.

Oh, EFFIE, since that painful scene

  That left me broken-hearted,

My appetite, erstwhile so keen,

   Has utterly departed.

My form, my friends observe with pain,

   Is growing daily thinner.

Love only occupies the brain

   That once could think of dinner.

Around me myriad waiters flit,

   With meat and drink to ply men;

Alone, disconsolate, I sit,

   And feed on thoughts of Hymen.

The kindly waiters hear my groan,

   They strive to charm with curry;

They tempt me with a devilled bone –

   I beg them not to worry.

Soup, whitebait, entrées, fricassees,

   They bring me uninvited.

I heed them not, for what are these

   To one whose life is blighted?

They show me dishes rich and rare,

   But ah! My pulse no joy stirs.

For savouries I've ceased to care,

   I hate the thought of oysters.

They bring me roast, they bring me boiled,

   But all in vain they woo me;

The waiters softly mutter, "Foiled!"

   The chef, poor man, looks gloomy.

So, EFFIE, turn that shell-like ear,

   Nor to my sighing close it,

You cannot doubt that I'm sincere –

   This ballad surely shows it,

No longer spurn the suit I press,

   Respect my agitation,

Do change your mind and answer, "Yes,"

   And save me from starvation.

First published in Punch, December 24, 1902.