A Culinary Puzzle

Category: Poetry
In our dainty little kitchen,
Where my aproned wife is queen
Over all the tin-pan people,
In a realm exceeding clean,
Oft I like to loiter, watching
While she mixes things for tea;
And she tasks me, slyly smiling,
'Now just guess what this will be!'

Hidden in a big blue apron,
Her dimpled arms laid bare,
And the love-smiles coyly mingling
With a housewife's frown of care
See her beat a golden batter,
Pausing but to ask of me,
As she adds a bit of butter,
'Now just guess what this will be!'

Then I bravely do my duty,
Guess it, 'pudding,' 'cake' or 'pie,'
'Dumplings,' 'waffles,' 'bread' or 'muffins;'
But no matter what I try,
This provoking witch just answers:
'Never mind, just wait and see!
But I think you should be able,
Dear, to guess what this will be.'

Little fraud! she never tells me
Until 'tis baked and browned
And I think I know the reason
For her secrecy profound
She herself with all her fine airs
And her books on cookery,
Could not answer, should I ask her,
'Dearest, what will that mess be?'

Available translations:

English (Original)