Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. VI. Fancy: Sentiment
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Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume VI. Fancy.  1904.
 
Poems of Sentiment: II. Life
Dining
E. Robert Bulwer, Lord Lytton (Owen Meredith) (1831–1891)
 
From “Lucile”

O HOUR of all hours, the most blest upon earth,
Blest hour of our dinners!
                The land of his birth;
The face of his first love; the bills that he owes;
The twaddle of friends, and venom of foes;
The sermon he heard when to church he last went;        5
The money he borrowed, the money he spent;
All of these things a man, I believe, may forget,
And not be the worse for forgetting; but yet
Never, never, oh, never! earth’s luckiest sinner
Hath unpunished forgotten the hour of his dinner!        10
Indigestion, that conscience of every bad stomach,
Shall relentlessly gnaw and pursue him with some ache
Or some pain; and trouble, remorseless, his best ease,
As the Furies once troubled the sleep of Orestes.
 
We may live without poetry, music, and art;        15
We may live without conscience, and live without earth;
We may live without friends; we may live without books;
But civilized men cannot live without cooks.
He may live without books,—what is knowledge but grieving?
He may live without hope,—what is hope but deceiving?        20
He may live without love,—what is passion but pining?
But where is the man that can live without dining?
 
 
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