Things That Mortals Eat There.

A poem by Horatio Alger, Jr.

And what do you eat in the mess there compounded?
For roast beef, the gravy the soap-man should claim--
The soup some odd things might turn up if sounded,
And other "made-dishes" might turn up the same.

Decoctions that puzzle your chemical skill,
You get if you call either coffee or tea;
And milk that is made with and tastes of the swill,
As like milk, as wine is that often we see
Is like to the juice of the grape in perfection,
Or like as the candidate after election
Is like the fair thing that we hoped or expected
Before the base thief was exposed or detected;
As like truth and virtue--and more is the pity--
The men we elected to rule our own city.

In "council" while sitting, though "common" we call them,
In common opinion, if people at large
Are's common in morals, no worse could befal 'em
If Satan should take them at once in his charge.

If food as their filth was as plenty for diet,
No lack would they feel of the coveted cash,
Or power they maintain with the power of a riot,
When heads of opponents are served up as hash
By Star-chamber cooks of the club "restoration,"
That rules now the city and would rule the nation,
If "Sachems" were willing the "Wigwam" to yield,
And give the arch-traitor a fair fighting field.

But fighting just now is not our intention,
But dining with Merdle, the banker, in state,
And only these items like side dishes mention,
While waiting the coming the main dinner plate.

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