Edgar Albert Guest

20 August 1881 - 5 August 1959 / Birmingham / England

A Vanished Joy

When I was but a little lad of six and seven and eight,
One joy I knew that has been lost in customs up-to-date,
Then Saturday was baking day and Mother used to make,
The while I stood about and watched, the Sunday pies and cake;
And I was there to have fulfilled a small boy's fondest wish,
The glorious privilege of youth- to scrape the frosting dish!

On Saturdays I never left to wander far away-
I hovered near the kitchen door on Mother's baking day;
The fragrant smell of cooking seemed to hold me in its grip,
And naught cared I for other sports while there were sweets to sip;
I little cared that all my chums had sought the brook to fish;
I chose to wait that moment glad when I could scrape the dish.

Full many a slice of apple I have lifted from a pie
Before the upper crust went on, escaping Mother's eye;
Full many a time my fingers small in artfulness have strayed
Into some sweet temptation rare which Mother's hands had made;
But eager-eyed and watery-mouthed, I craved the greater boon,
When Mother let me clean the dish and lick the frosting spoon.

The baking days of old are gone, our children cannot know
The glorious joys that childhood owned and loved so long ago.
New customs change the lives of all and in their heartless way
They've robbed us of the glad event once known as baking day.
The stores provide our every need, yet many a time I wish
Our kids could know that bygone thrill and scrape the frosting dish.
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