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Eleanor Makes Macaroons
James Russell Lowell



Light of triumph in her eyes,
Eleanor her apron ties;
As she pushes back her sleeves,
High resolve her bosom heaves.
Hasten, cook! impel the fire
To the pace of her desire;
As you hope to save your soul,
Bring a virgin casserole,
Brightest bring of silver spoons—
Eleanor makes macaroons!

Almond-blossoms, now adance

In the smile of Southern France,

Leave your sport with sun and breeze,

Think of duty, not of ease;

Fashion, 'neath their jerkins brown,

Kernels white as thistle-down,

Tiny cheeses made with cream

From the Galaxy's mid-stream,

Blanched in light of honeymoons, —

Eleanor makes macaroons!

Now for sugar, — nay, our plan
Tolerates no work of man.
Hurry, then, ye golden bees;
Fetch your clearest honey, please,
Garnered on a Yorkshire moor,
While the last larks sing and soar,
From the heather-blossoms sweet
Where sea-breeze and sunshine meet,
And the Augusts mask as Junes, —
Eleanor makes macaroons!

Next the pestle and mortar find,
Pure rock-crystal, — these to grind
Into paste more smooth than silk,
Whiter than the milkweed's milk:
Spread it on a rose-leaf, thus,
Cate to please Theocritus;
Then the fire with spices swell,
While, for her completer spell,
Mystic canticles she croons, —
Eleanor makes macaroons!

Perfect! and all this to waste
On a graybeard's palsied taste!
Poets so their verses write,
Heap them full of life and light,
And then fling them to the rude
Mumbling of the multitude.
Not so dire her fate as theirs,
Since her friend this gift declares
Choicest of his birthday boons, —
Eleanor's dear macaroons!

This poem is in the public domain.


James Russell Lowell (1819 - 1891) was a poet, essayist, satirist and, late in life, a diplomat from Cambridge, Massachusetts. A preacher's son from distinguished New England bloodlines, he attended Harvard and became a lawyer, but soon chucked that career to follow his dream of being a writer. James eventually returned to Harvard as a professor and taught there for twenty years. 


Post New Comment:
Great, amusing poem of well-disciplined rhyme!
Posted 08/13/2015 04:29 PM
Linda W. Owen:
What a delight!
Posted 08/13/2015 11:56 AM
Love the poem; love macaroons!
Posted 08/13/2015 11:37 AM
Great rhyming. Hope Eleanor herself was at theTop of his choices -:)
Posted 08/13/2015 10:55 AM
The rhyme is divine!
Posted 08/13/2015 08:33 AM
I love macaroons now even more!
Posted 08/13/2015 08:26 AM
Posted 08/13/2015 07:20 AM

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