Thursday, October 31, 2013


Sausage and Mash

A.P. Herbert (1890-1971), "Sausage and Mash," A Book of Ballads (London: Ernest Benn Limited, 1931), pp. 64-66 (misprints corrected, but indentation omitted):
If there's a dish
For which I wish
More frequent than the rest,
If there's a food
On which I brood
When starving or depressed,
If there's a thing that life can give
Which makes it worth our while to live,
If there's an end
On which I'd spend
My last remaining cash,
It's sausage, friend,
It's sausage, friend,
It's sausage, friend, and mash.

Sausage and mash,
Sausage and mash,
Hope of the hungry and joy of the just!
Sausage and mash,
(Not haddock or hash),
Done fill they bubble and done till they bust!
Your truffles are toys,
Your oysters are trash
Contrasted, my boys,
With the homelier joys
The beauty, the poise,
Of sausage and mash.

O noble thing,
From churl to king,
Uniting class and clan!
What brow so high
We cannot spy
The simple sausage-fan?
The haughty plumber blows a kiss
When Mrs. Plumber brings him this;
And where's the Lord
So old and bored
But that proud eye will flash
If some sweet girl
Says, "Sausage, Earl?
A sausage, Earl, and mash?"

Sausage and mash,
Sausage and mash,
With an R in the month I am happy and gay!
Sausage and mash,
My molars I gnash
With impotent longing in August and May!
I weary of fish,
I deprecate hash,
Your partridges—pish!
Quite frankly I wish
For the tiniest dish
Of sausage and mash.

Sweet when we rise
With heavy eyes
And work is just ahead;
Sweet any time,
But most sublime
When we should be in bed;
Though kingdoms rise and kingdoms set
A sausage is a sausage yet;
When Love is dead,
Ambition fled,
And Pleasure, lad, and Pass.,
You'll still enjoy
A sausage, boy,
A sausage, boy, and mash.

Sausage and mash,
Sausage and mash,
Done till they bubble and done till they bust!
Sausage and mash,
Careless and rash,
I raises my hat to the food of the just!
What's women to me,
What's liquor or cash?
Contented are we,
The sons of the free,
With a pot of hot tea
And sausage and mash!

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