The Eggs

: Literary Fables Of Yriarte

Beyond the sunny Philippines

An island lies, whose name I do not know;

But that's of little consequence, if so

You understand that there they had no hens;

Till, by a happy chance, a traveller,

After a while, carried some poultry there.

Fast they increased as any one could wish;

Until fresh eggs became the common dish.

But all the natives ate them boiled,--they say,--
Because the stranger taught no other way.

At last the experiment by one was tried--

Sagacious man!--of having his eggs fried.

And, O! what boundless honors, for his pains,

His fruitful and inventive fancy gains!

Another, now, to have them baked devised,--

Most happy thought!--and still another, spiced.

Who ever thought eggs were so delicate!

Next, some one gave his friends an omelette:

"Ah!" all exclaimed, "what an ingenious feat!"

But scarce a year went by, an artiste shouts,

"I have it now,--ye 're all a pack of louts!--

With nice tomatoes all my eggs are stewed."

And the whole island thought the mode so good,

That they would so have cooked them to this day,

But that a stranger, wandering out that way,

Another dish the gaping natives taught,

And showed them eggs cooked a la Huguenot.

Successive cooks thus proved their skill diverse;

But how shall I be able to rehearse

All of the new, delicious condiments

That luxury, from time to time, invents?

Soft, hard and dropped; and now with sugar sweet,

And now boiled up with milk, the eggs they eat;

In sherbet, in preserves; at last they tickle

Their palates fanciful with eggs in pickle.

All had their day--the last was still the best.

But a grave senior thus, one day, addressed

The epicures: "Boast, ninnies, if you will,

These countless prodigies of gastric skill--

But blessings on the man who brought the hens!"

* * * * *

Beyond the sunny Philippines

Our crowd of modern authors need not go

New-fangled modes of cooking eggs to show.