Although the memories that this poem call up have been to some extent soured by subsequent events, the poem itself is still a lot of fun. This was written mostly to entertain the friends who had given me said cake, but partly as a self-imposed exercise in composition. There’s a strong element of self-parody in there as well.

O blessèd acme of the baker’s art,
Quintessence of cherries and of almonds fair,
Vouchsafe me yet another sugared kiss
To cloak me ‘gainst the January air.
Ahead lie all the glories of the hop
And sweetmeats set to tempt the toper’s tongue
Yet on my beer-mat shall your sweet crumbs drop
Ere to such lesser snacking shall I turn.
I shall turn pig – if such may change be called
For it is surely perilous to dare
That with which th’ambrosial delights
Of Circe’s glamoured isle could scarce compare.


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