The Wishes of A Dumb-Waiter.*

To circle round the “ social board,”1
’Mid wit and wine, I am not able ;2
Nor, with rich fruits and dainties stored,3
To wait upon your dinner-table.4
Domestic in my tastes and ways,5
On humbler errand am I come ;6
The breakfast-hour my gifts displays,7
The servant of a quiet home.8
Of my new masters I’ve no fears ;9
For he, who recommends the place,10
Has known the worth of one for years,11
And reads the other’s—in her face.12
And so, a willing drudge, I’ll turn,13
Upon my rounds without ado,14
And wonder at the hissing urn15
For waiting noisily on you.16
Centre of gravity sedate,17
I watch o’er household griefs and blisses,18
But hold my tongue, and never prate,19
Hither of quarrels or of kisses.20
Like some good commonplace M.P.,21
I to my betters “pass the butter ;”22
And, in my way as wise as he,23
Turn round and round, but never utter.24
My trusty counsel I can keep25
Whene’er my lady has the vapours ;26
Or, fidgety from want of sleep,27
My master damns the morning papers.28
But happier that I never tire29
Of listening to the cozy chat30
And simmer by the new-lit fire31
The pleasant talk of this and that32
The morning’s plan, for work or play33
The homely cares—these homely joys34
And, on the welcome holiday,35
The laughter of the girls and boys.36

* Given to an old friend on his wedding-day.
The choicest blessings of the hearth37
For you, through me, the sender prays,38
With all the good things upon earth,39
As health, and wealth, and length of days.40
Long may the “ whirligig of time41
For you lay its “ revenges” by,42
And point the moral of my rhyme,43
By turning smoothly, as will I.44
God speed you then : locutus sum,45
And, having once the silence broken,46
I shall for evermore be dumb :47
Excuse me, please, for haying spoken.48