Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
986. Biftek Aux Champignons
By Henry Augustin Beers
MIMI, do you remember—
  Don’t get behind your fan—
That morning in September
  On the cliffs of Grand Manan,
Where to the shock of Fundy        5
  The topmost harebells sway
(Campanula rotundi-
  folia: cf. Gray)?
On the pastures high and level,        10
  That overlook the sea,
Where I wondered what the devil
  Those little things could be
That Mimi stooped to gather,
  As she strolled across the down,        15
And held her dress skirt rather—
  Oh, now, you need n’t frown.
For you know the dew was heavy,
  And your boots, I know, were thin;
So a little extra brevity in skirts was, sure, no sin.        20
Besides, who minds a cousin?
  First, second, even third,—
I ’ve kissed ’em by the dozen,
  And they never once demurred.
“If one’s allowed to ask it,”        25
  Quoth I, “Ma belle cousine,
What have you in your basket?”
  (Those baskets white and green
The brave Passamaquoddies
  Weave out of scented grass,        30
And sell to tourist bodies
  Who through Mt. Desert pass.)
You answered, slightly frowning,
  “Put down your stupid book—
That everlasting Browning!—        35
  And come and help me look.
Mushroom you spik him English,
  I call him champignon:
I ’ll teach you to distinguish
  The right kind from the wrong.”        40
There was no fog on Fundy
  That blue September day;
The west wind, for that one day,
  Had swept it all away.
The lighthouse glasses twinkled,        45
  The white gulls screamed and flew,
The merry sheep-bells tinkled,
  The merry breezes blew.
The bayberry aromatic,
  The papery immortelles        50
(That give our grandma’s attic
  That sentimental smell,
Tied up in little brush-brooms)
  Were sweet as new-mown hay,
While we went hunting mushrooms        55
  That blue September day.


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