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Stans Puer ad Mensam

Written by: Sir Walter Raleigh | Biography
 | Quotes (28) |
 Attend my words, my gentle knave, 
And you shall learn from me 
How boys at dinner may behave 
With due propriety. 

Guard well your hands: two things have been 
Unfitly used by some; 
The trencher for a tambourine, 
The table for a drum. 

We could not lead a pleasant life, 
And 'twould be finished soon, 
If peas were eaten with the knife, 
And gravy with the spoon. 

Eat slowly: only men in rags 
And gluttons old in sin 
Mistake themselves for carpet bags 
And tumble victuals in. 

The privy pinch, the whispered tease, 
The wild, unseemly yell -- 
When children do such things as these, 
We say, "It is not well." 

Endure your mother's timely stare, 
Your father's righteous ire, 
And do not wriggle on your chair 
Like flannel in the fire. 

Be silent: you may chatter loud 
When you are fully grown, 
Surrounded by a silent crowd 
Of children of your own. 

If you should suddenly feel bored 
And much inclined to yawning, 
Your little hand will best afford 
A modest useful awning. 

Think highly of the Cat: and yet 
You need not therefore think 
That portly strangers like your pet 
To share their meat and drink. 

The end of dinner comes ere long 
When, once more full and free, 
You cheerfully may bide the gong 
That calls you to your tea.