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A poem by A. A. Milne

The Last Pot

Title:     The Last Pot
Author: A. A. Milne [More Titles by Milne]

Let others hymn the weariness and pain
(Or, if they will, the glory and the glamour)
Of holding fast, from Flanders to Lorraine,
The thin brown line at which the Germans hammer;
My Muse, a more domesticated maid,
Aspires to sing a song of Marmalade.

O Marmalade!--I do not mean the sort,
Sweet marrow-pulp, for babes and maidens fitter,
But that wherein the golden fishes sport
On oranges seas (with just a dash of bitter),
Not falsely coy, but eager to parade
Their Southern birth--in short, O Marmalade!

Much have I sacrificed: my happy home,
My faith in experts' figures, half my money,
The fortnight that I meant to spend in Rome,
My weekly effort to be fairly funny;
But these are trifles, light as air when weighed
Against this other--Breakfast Marmalade.

Fair was the porridge in the days of peace,
And still more fair the cream and sugar taken;
Plump were the twin poached eggs, yet not obese,
Upon their thrones of toast, and crisp the bacon--
I face their loss undaunted, unafraid,
If only I may keep my Marmalade.

An evening press without Callisthenes;
A tables Staff; an immobile spaghetti;
A Shaw with whom the Common Man agrees;
A Zambra searching vainly for Negretti;
When spades are trumps, a hand without a spade--
So is my breakfast lacking Marmalade.

O Northcliffe (Lord)! O Keiller! O Dundee!
O Crosse and Blackwell, Limited! O Seville!
O orange groves along the Middle Sea!
(O Jaffa, for example) O the devil--
Let Beef and Butter, Rolls and Rabbits fade,
But give me back my love, my Marmalade.

[The end]
A. A. Milne's poem: The Last Pot