By John Betjeman

Phone for the fish knives, Norman

    As cook is a little unnerved;

You kiddies have crumpled the serviettes

    And I must have things daintily served.


Are the requisites all in the toilet?

    The frills round the cutlets can wait

Till the girl has replenished the cruets

    And switched on the logs in the grate.


It's ever so close in the lounge dear,

    But the vestibule's comfy for tea

And Howard is riding on horseback

    So do come and take some with me


Now here is a fork for your pastries

    And do use the couch for your feet;

I know that I wanted to ask you-

    Is trifle sufficient for sweet?


Milk and then just as it comes dear?

    I'm afraid the preserve's full of stones;

Beg pardon, I'm soiling the doileys

    With afternoon tea-cakes and scones.

Copyright acknowledged and poem permitted.

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