Verse > Anthologies > Hamilton Fish Armstrong, ed. > The Book of New York Verse
Hamilton Fish Armstrong, ed.  The Book of New York Verse.  1917.
To Simon
By Fitz-Greene Halleck and Joseph Rodman Drake
The Omnipotent and Omnipresent Caterer for Fashionable Supper-parties.

DEAR Simon! Prince of pastry-cooks,
  Oysters, and ham, and cold neat’s tongue,
Pupil of Mitchill’s cookery-books,
  And bosom friend of old and young!
Sure from some higher, brighter sphere        5
  In showers of gravy thou wert hurled,
To aid our routs and parties here,
  And grace the fashionable world!
Taught by thy art, we closely follow
  And ape the English lords and misses;        10
For Music, we’ve the Black Apollo,
  And Mrs. Poppleton for kisses.
We borrow all the rest, you know,
  Our glass from Christie for the time,
Plate from our friends to make a show,        15
  And cash, to pay small bills from Prime.
What though old Squaretoes will not bless thee—
  He fears your power and dreads your bill;
Mother and her dear girls caress thee,
  And pat thy cheek, and praise thee still.        20
Oh, Simon! how we envy thee,
  When belles that long have frowned on all,
Greet thee with smiles, and bend the knee,
  To beg you’ll help them “give a ball!”
Though it is ungenteel to think,        25
  For thought affects the nerves and brain!
Yet oft we think of thee, and drink
  Thy health in Lynch’s best champagne.
’Tis pity that thy signal merit
  Should slumber in so low a station;        30
Act, Simon, like a lad of spirit,
  And thou, in time, mayst rule the nation!
Break up your Saturdays “at home,”
  Cut Guinea and your sable clan,
Buy a new eye-glass and become        35
  A dandy and a gentleman.
You must speak French, and make a bow,
  Ten lessons are enough for that;
And Leavenworth will teach you how
  To wear your corsets and cravat.        40
Knock all your chambers into one,
  Hire fiddlers, glasses, Barons too,
And then invite the whole haut-ton;
  Ask Hosack, he can tell you who.
The great that are, and—wish to be,        45
  Within your brilliant rooms will meet,
And belles of high and low degree,
  From Broadway up to Cherry Street.
This will insure you free admission
  To all our routs, for years to come;        50
And when you die, a long procession
  Of dandies shall surround your tomb.
We’ll raise an almond statue where
  In dust your honoured head reposes;
Mothers shall lead their daughters there,        55
  And bid them twine your bust with roses.

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