Sara Coleridge

Peter Swaab (ed.), Sara Coleridge: Collected Poems

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Editor’s NoteReceipt for a Cake

  •              Take Flour made from Wheat most fine
  •              Take Currants fresh from Zante's Isle, –
  •              Take Butter from the choicest Kine
  •              Take Almonds from the Trees that smile
  •              On Jordan's banks: – take of the Spice
  •              That in the Indian Isles abound;
  •              Take new-laid Eggs, quite fresh and nice,
  •              Take Sweetmeats, richest that are found;
  • pg 154             Take of the Wine that Falstaff loved –
  •              Take eau de vie from Gallia's shore,
  •              Take of the Sugar most approved
  •              That's grown upon Jamaica's shore,
  •              And when you've beat and mixed them well,
  •              And let them in your Oven bake:
  •              Rest them awhile, before you tell
  •              The glories of the splendid Cake.
  •              Then cover it with snowy hue
  •              Of Eggs and Sugar finely spread,
  •              And Waters richly perfumd through
  •              The Orange Flower's fragrant aid
  •              Then set it on a festive board
  •              All gaily decked with Flowers so fair,
  •              Bid Flora all her sweets afford
  •              And scatter choicest Roses there.
  •              And let the Myrtle there be found
  •              Its blooming flower – its lasting leaf
  •              And Violets shed their perfume round,
  •              And Cornflower with the golden sheaf
  •              And next arrange a choice repast,
  •              And blithely fill the sparkling Bowl;
  •              While round the board may gather fast
  •              A group whose joy knows no control.
  •              And chiefest – dearest – loveliest there
  •              Will march a prized and blooming Bride
  •              And watch the manliest form, most fair
  •              Sit raptured by the Maiden's side.
  •              While favoured friends both old and young
  •              Are come this Pair so blest to meet,
  •              Favours are given and Bells are rung,
  •              And cheerful healths their Union greet.
  •              Then cut the Cake and send it round,
  •              Where other friends more distant dwell
  •              Packets with snow-white ribbon bound,
  •              The welcome vows shall quickly tell.
  • pg 155             Then Youths and Maidens love to try
  •              Their future fate in mystic dream,
  •              And to the bridal Ring apply,
  •              And trust the Cake will kindly seem
  •              And let their guileless Fancy roam
  •              On one whose love may long endure
  •              And twine around some future home
  •              Their radiant wreath of joy most pure.

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Editor’s Note
Page 153. 'Receipt for a Cake' (MS, 1841??). Undated MS laid into SC's second Commonplace Book, perhaps from the early 1840s. 'This was merely a Specimen for an intended rhyming Cookery Book thought of for a Bazaar, but never executed' (SC). Earlier in the album HC wrote a jocular poem 'I sing Minced Pie, the pride of Christmas cheer', so culinary rhyming had family precedent; HC's verses were published as 'Minced-Pie; A Christmas Carol. To Miss S——' in Blackwood's Magazine (February 1828), pp. 252–5.
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