Answer to an Invitation to Dine at Fishmongers Hall

Original Text: 
The Letters of Sydney Smith, ed. Nowell C. Smith, Vol. 1 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1953): 125. PR 5458 A4 1953
1Much do I love, at civic treat,
2The monsters of the deep to eat;
3To see the rosy salmon lying,
4By smelts encircled, born for frying;
5And from the china boat to pour,
6On flaky cod, the flavour'd shower.
7Thee, above all, I much regard,
10Thee and thy dainty friends to leave.
11Far from ye all, in snuggest corner,
13He who, with philosophic eye,
14Sat brooding o'er his Christmas pie:
15Then, firm resolv'd, with either thumb,
16Tore forth the crust-envelop'd plum,
17And, mad with youthful dreams of future fame,
18Proclaim'd the deathless glories of his name.


8] Longman: London publisher of major poets of the time. Back to Line
9] turbot: "A large flat fish (Rhombus maximus or Psetta maxima), having a wide scaleless body covered with conical bony tubercles, with the eyes normally on the left side, found on the European coasts and much esteemed as food" (OED). Back to Line
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: