The woman who looks upon man as a sinner
Unsaved as to soul, and uncertain in heart,
Should learn how to cook, and prepare him a dinner,
And serve it with talent, refinement, and art.
Full many a question is solved by digestion.
Bad morals are caused, oftentimes by bad cooks,
And many a riot results from poor diet--
Conversion may lie in the leaves of cook books.

About the dull stalk of the thorntree of duty
Plant flowers of fragrance and vines of good taste.
Surround the coarse needs of the body with beauty,
Make common things noble, make vulgar things chaste.
Put art in housekeeping, nor think culture sleeping
Because the base animal, man, must be fed.
Delsarte should be able to speak in the table--
'Expression' may lie in a light loaf of bread.

Though hard be the labour, the end recompenses--
Though weary the journey, reward is the goal.
For the soul of a man must be reached through his senses,
As the senses of woman are reached through her soul.
Speak first to his spirit, he never will hear it;
Speak first to his body, his soul will reply;
The mortal man fare for, his appetites care for,
And lo! he will follow your footsteps on high.

Love born in the boudoir oft dies in the kitchen,
The failure of marriage oft starts in the soup.
The stomach appeal to, and men's heart you steal to--
Would you reach to the last? To the first you must stoop.

Yesterdays. By Ella Wheeler Wilcox.
London: Gay & Hancock, 1916.

Back to Poem Index