Eleanor Makes Macaroons

Original Text: 

James Russell Lowell, Heartsease and Rue (Boston and New York: Houghton, Mifflin, 1888): 129-30. Internet Archive

2Eleanor her apron ties;
3As she pushes back her sleeves,
4High resolve her bosom heaves.
5Hasten, cook! impel the fire
6To the pace of her desire;
7As you hope to save your soul,
8Bring a virgin casserole,
9Brightest bring of silver spoons, --
10Eleanor makes macaroons!
11Almond-blossoms, now adance
12In the smile of Southern France,
13Leave your sport with sun and breeze,
14Think of duty, not of ease;
15Fashion, 'neath their jerkins brown,
16Kernels white as thistle-down,
17Tiny cheeses made with cream
18From the Galaxy's mid-stream,
19Blanched in light of honeymoons, --
20Eleanor makes macaroons!
21Now for sugar, -- nay, our plan
22Tolerates no work of man.
23Hurry, then, ye golden bees;
24Fetch your clearest honey, please,
25Garnered on a Yorkshire moor,
26While the last larks sing and soar,
27From the heather-blossoms sweet
28Where sea-breeze and sunshine meet,
29And the Augusts mask as Junes, --
30Eleanor makes macaroons!
31Next the pestle and mortar find,
32Pure rock-crystal, -- these to grind
33Into paste more smooth than silk,
34Whiter than the milkweed's milk:
35Spread it on a rose-leaf, thus,
37Then the fire with spices swell,
38While, for her completer spell,
39Mystic canticles she croons, --
40Eleanor makes macaroons!
41Perfect! and all this to waste
42On a graybeard's palsied taste!
43Poets so their verses write,
44Heap them full of life and light,
45And then fling them to the rude
46Mumbling of the multitude.
47Not so dire her fate as theirs,
48Since her friend this gift declares
49Choicest of his birthday boons, --
50Eleanor's dear macaroons!


1] Macaroons: "A small sweet cake or biscuit consisting chiefly of ground almonds (or coconut), egg white, and sugar" (OED). Back to Line
36] Theocritus: Greek maker of pastoral poetry (3rd-century BC). Back to Line
RPO poem Editors: 
Data entry: Sharine Leung
RPO Edition: