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Ella Wheeler Wilcox

(5 November 1850 - 30 October 1919 / Johnstown Center / Rock County / Wisconsin)

The Kettle


There’s many a house of grandeur,
With turret, tower and dome,
That knows not peace or comfort,
And does not prove a home.
I do not ask for splendour
To crown my daily lot,
But this I ask – a kitchen
Where the kettles always hot.

If things are not all ship-shape,
I do not fume or fret,
A little clean disorder
Does not my nerves upset.
But one thing is essential,
Or seems so in my thought,
And that’s a tidy kitchen
Where the kettle’s always hot.

In my Aunt Hattie’s household,
Though skies outside are drear,
Though times are dark and troubled,
You’ll always find good cheer.
And in her quaint old kitchen –
The very homiest spot –
The kettle’s always singing,
The water’s always hot.

And if you have a headache,
Whate’er the hour may be,
There is no tedious waiting
To get your cup of tea.
I don’t know how she does it –
Some magic she has caught –
For the kitchen’s cool in summer,
Yet the kettle’s always hot.

Oh, there’s naught else so dreary
In household kingdom found
As a cold and sullen kettle
That does not make a sound.
And I think that love is lacking
In the hearts in such a spot,
Or the kettle would be singing
And the water would be hot.

Submitted: Tuesday, June 03, 2003

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