The Tea-Kettle

The Tea-Kettle

I SING of arms of the kitchen,
Which first from the shop on the hill,
Came with a pot and a ladle,
And were placed on the window-sill.

Chief among all is the kettle,
Which rocks in its cradle of heat;
Keeping strict time to the patter
Of the aged fat cook’s big feet.

There she sits and sings her old songs,
In time to the kettle’s low hum;
Her red kerchief drops from her head,
She falls fast asleep and is mum.

Now faster the tea-kettle rocks,
As it puffs the steam up higher,
Thus making the old cook believe
Her scolding mistress is nigh her.

Whenever the cook is idle,
And she wishes her thoughts to rove,
She takes the faithful tea-kettle
And places it on the stove.

When steps of the mistress are heard,
At once the kettle boils higher,
Awaking the cook just in time,
To put more wood on the fire.

“The kitchen is generally the least interesting place in a fine house, unless you expect to make it your home. Then it suddenly acquires a personal interest to the good housewife not to be exceeded by any room in the house.”

-Marcus P. Hatfield, 1887.