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The Poetical Works of the late Christopher Anstey

With Some Account of the Life and Writings of the Author, By his son, John Anstey

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Written at Mr. Gill's, an eminent Cook at Bath.

Ου προς παντος εστιν αρτυσαι καλως.
Frag. Vet. Poet.

Ye bards who sing the hero's praise,
Or lass's of the mill,
A loftier theme invites your lays,
Come tune your lyres to Gill.
Of all the cooks the world can boast,
However great their skill,
To bake, or fry, to boil, or roast,
There's none like Master Gill.
Sweet rhyming troop, no longer stoop
To drink Castalia's rill,
Whene'er ye droop, O taste the soup
That's made by Master Gill.


O taste this soup, for which the fair,
When hungry, cold, and chill,
Forsake the Circus and the Square
To eat with Master Gill.
'Tis this that makes my Chloe's lips
Ambrosial sweets distil;
For leeks and cabbage oft she sips
In soup that's made by Gill.
Immortal bards view here your wit,
The labours of your quill,
To singe the fowl upon the spit
Condemn'd by Master Gill.
My humble verse that fate will meet,
Nor shall I take it ill;
But grant, ye gods! that I may eat
That fowl when drest by Gill.
These are your true poetic fires
That drest this sav'ry grill;
E'en while I eat the muse inspires,
And tunes my voice to Gill.


When C--- strikes the vocal lyre,
Sweet Lydian measures thrill;
But I the gridir'n more admire,
When tun'd by Master Gill.
“Come take my sage of ancient use,”
Cries learned Doctor H---ll:
“But what's the sage without the goose?”
Replies my Master Gill.
He who would fortify his mind,
His belly first should fill;
Roast beef 'gainst terrors best you'll find;
The Greeks knew this,” says Gill.
Your spirits and your blood to stir,
Old Galen gives a pill;
But I the forc'd-meat ball prefer,
Prepar'd by Master Gill.
While he so well can broil and bake,
I'll promise and fulfil,
No other physic e'er to take
Than what's prescrib'd by Gill.


Your bard has liv'd at Bath so long,
He dreads to see your bill—
Instead of cash accept this song,
My worthy Master Gill.