The Wail of the Waiter
All day long, at Scott's or Menzies', I await the gorging crowd,
Panting, penned within a pantry, with the blowflies humming loud,
There at seven in the morning do I count my daily cash,
While the home-returning reveller calls for 'soda and a dash'.
And the weary hansom-cabbies set the blinking sqautters down,
Who, all night, in savage freedom, have been 'knocking round the town'.
Soon the breakfast gong resounding bids the festive meal begin,
And, with appetites like demons, come the gentle public in.
'Toast and butter!' 'Eggs and coffee!' 'Waiter, mutton cops for four!'
'Flatheads!' 'Ham!' 'Beef!' 'Where's the mustard?' 'Steak and onions!' 'Shut the door!'
Here sits bandicoot, the broker, eating in a desparate hurry,
Scowling at his left-hand neighbour, Cornstalk from the Upper Murray,
Who with brandy-nose enpurpled, and with blue lips cracked and dry,
In incipient delirium shoves the eggspoon in his eye.
'Bloater paste!' 'Some tender steak, sir?' 'Here, confound you, where's my chop?'
'Waiter!' 'Yessir!' 'Waiter!' 'Yessir!!' - running till I'm fit to drop.
Then at lunch time - fearful crisis! In by shoals the gorgers pour,
Gobbling, crunching, swilling, munching - ten times hungrier than before.
'Glass of porter!' 'Ale for me, John!' 'Where's my stick?' 'And where's my hat!'
'Oxtal soup!' 'I asked for curry!' 'Cold boiled beef, and cut it fat!'
'Irish stew!' 'Some pickled cabbage!' 'What, no beans?' 'Bring me some pork!'
'Soup, sir?' 'Yes. You grinning idiot, can I eat it with a FORK?'
'Take care, waiter!' 'Beg your pardon.' 'Curse you, have you two left legs?'
'I asked for bread an hour ago, sir!' 'Now then, have you laid those eggs?'
'Sherry!' 'No, I called for beer - of all the fools I ever saw!'
'Waiter!' 'Yessir!' 'WAITER!!' 'Here, sir!' 'Damme, sir, this steak is RAW!'
Thus amid this hideous Babel do I live the livelong day,
While my memory is going, and my hair is turing grey.
All my soul is slowly melting, all my brain is softening fast,
And I know that I'll be taken to the Yarr bend at last.
For at night from fitful slumbers I awaken with a start,
Murmuring of steak and onions, babbling of apple-tart.
While to me the Poet's cloudland a gigantic kitchen seems,
And those mislaid table-napkins haunt me even in my dreams
Is this right? - Ye sages tell me! - Does a man live but to eat?
Is there nothing worth enjoying but one's miserable meat?
Is the mightiest task of genius but to swallow buttered beans,
And has man but been created to demolish pork and greens?
Is there no unfed Hereafter, where the round of chewing stops?
Is the atmosphere of heaven clammy with perpetual chops?
Do the friends of Mr Naylor sup on spirit-reared cow-heel?
Can the great Alexis Soyer really say 'Soyez tranquille?'
Or must I bring spirit beefsteak grilled in spirit regions hotter
For the spirit delectation of some spiritual squatter?
Shall I in a spirit kitchen hear the spirit blowflies humming,
Calming spiritual stomachs with a spiritual 'Coming!'?
Shall - but this is idle chatter, I have got my work to do.
'WAITER!!' 'Yessir.' 'Wake up, stupid! Boiled calves' feet for Number Two!'
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (The Wail of the Waiter by Marcus Clarke )
- Going beyond death, see me, gajanan mishra
- Total Anticipation, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
- opganda.com ≡오피뷰≡ 허니버터칩 '수원휴게텔대박'…'동탄휴게텔.., bkgfkvbkgfkv bkgfkv
- opganda.com ≡오피뷰≡ 허니버터칩 '강남오피대박'…'동탄휴게텔'.., bkgfkvbkgfkv bkgfkv
- Being with you means a lot!, Sumita Jetley
- Writing What I Mean, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
- OPGANDA.COM≡오피뷰≡ 허니버터칩 '강남휴게텔대박'…'동탄휴게텔'.., bkgfkvbkgfkv bkgfkv
- On being Right, John F. McCullagh
- Popping Ideas, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
- Aligning With Both Lives, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
Poem of the Day
- 04 Tongues Made Of Glass, Shaun Shane
- Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
- Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
- Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
- Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
- Nothing Gold Can Stay, Robert Frost
- Dreams, Langston Hughes
- Acquainted with the Night, Robert Frost
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
- Heather Burns
(27 October 1914 – 9 November 1953)