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Midnight in the Pantry
Edgar Guest


You can boast your round of pleasures, praise the sound of popping corks,
Where the orchestra is playing to the rattle of the forks,
And your after-opera dinner you may think superbly fine,
But that can't compare, I'm certain, to the joy that's always mine
When I reach my little dwelling--—source, of all sincere delight—--
And I prowl around the pantry in the waning hours of night.
When my business, or my pleasure, has detained me until late,
And it's midnight, say, or after, when I reach my own estate,
Though I'm weary with my toiling I don't hustle up to bed,
For the inner man is hungry and he's anxious to be fed,
Then I feel a thrill of glory from my head down to my feet
As I prowl around the pantry after something good to eat.
Oft I hear a call above me: '"Goodness gracious, come to bed!'"
And I know that I've disturbed her by my overeager tread,
But I've found a glass of jelly and some bread and butter, too,
And a bit of cold fried chicken and I answer: '"When I'm through!'"
Oh, there's no cafe that better serves my precious appetite
Than the pantry in our kitchen when I get home late at night.
You may boast your shining silver, and the linen and the flowers,
And the music and the laughter and the lights that hang in showers,
You may have your cafe table with its brilliant array,
But it doesn't charm yours truly when I'm on my homeward way,
For a greater joy awaits me, as I hunger for a bite—--
Just the joy of pantry-prowling in the middle of the night.

This poem is in the public domain.


Edgar Guest (1881 - 1959)  was born in England,  but moved with his family to Detroit, Michigan, when he was ten years old. He worked for more than sixty years at the Detroit Free Press, publishing his first poem at the age of seventeen, then going on to become a reporter and columnist whose work was featured in hundreds of newspapers around the country. Edgar is said to have written some 11,000 poems during his lifetime, most of it sentimental, short, upbeat verse. Critics often derided his work, but America adored him. He was known as the "People's Poet," served as Michigan's poet laureate, hosted a long-running radio show and TV show, and published more than twenty books.


Post New Comment:
I imagined I'd answer my wife at night: When Im through! with a mouth full of food. Oh, I haven't laughed so much in a long time! Joy in simple.
Posted 10/26/2023 03:31 AM
Pantries are now just a memory. One of stealing a bit of cheese not getting caught I just love this poem
Posted 10/05/2018 02:58 AM
Well, you just cannot beat Edgar for his great humor.
Posted 10/04/2018 09:50 AM
michael escoubas:
This sounds amazingly just like me! Great post, Jayne.
Posted 10/03/2018 10:55 AM
I grew up in Detroit and was heavily influenced by Edgar Guest. My college English professors derided his work when I mentioned this. Thank you so much for using this poem today. It's made my day.
Posted 10/03/2018 08:24 AM
Larry Schug:
This poem speaks accurately, even into a new century. I like the rhyme.
Posted 10/03/2018 06:54 AM

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