Treasure Island

Eustache Deschamps

(1338 - 1406 / Vertus, Champagne)

Ballade 2


In Antwerp, Bruges, Ostend and Ghent
I used to order food with flair,
But in every inn to which I went
They always brought me, with my fare,
With every roast and mutton dish,
With boar, with rabbit, pigeon, bustard,
With fresh and with salt-water fish,
Always, never asking, mustard.

I ordered herring, said I'd like
Carp for supper at the bar,
And called for simple boiled pike,
And two large sole, when I ate at Spa.
I ordered green sauce when in Brussels;
The waiter stared and looked disgusted;
The bus boy brought in with my mussels
As always, never asking, mustard.

I couldn't eat or drink without it.
They add it to the water they
Boil the fish in and-don't doubt it-
The drippings from the roast each day
Are tossed into a mustard vat
In which they're mixed, and then entrusted
To those who bring-they're trained at that-
Always, never asking, mustard.


Prince, it's clear a spice like clove
can drop its guard. It won't be busted.
There's just one thing these people serve:
Always, never asking, mustard.

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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