Pouvoisin, M.

France, (?)

The Piglet’s Death

  1. “Of birth renowned, entitled well to boast,
  2. And reared with care, the little pig is dead:
  3. We sorrow, but we scent the savoury roast,
  4. And mix a bumper while our tears we shed.
  5. We loved him, silky-soft, and plump, and fine,
  6. And now that he has felt the crisping fire
  7. We wait his soul and body to enshrine,
  8. A morsel for an epicure’s desire.
  9. He little thought, when grunting in his pen,
  10. That, seasoned thus to tickle gourmand taste,
  11. His chine would glide down throats of feasting men,
  12. And to a noble tomb within us haste.
  13. Regret not, little pig, thine early fate:
  14. Honours are thine beyond the fattening sty,—
  15. We eat thee, brother, and incorporate
  16. Thy substance, thus, in our humanity.”

Original French:

La Mort Du Goret

  1. “Fameux par sa naissance et par son éleveur,
  2. Il est mort, le goret, célèbre à tant de titres:
  3. C’est un deuil, mais un deuil qui n’est pas sans saveur;
  4. Versons des pleurs, amis, surtout versons des litres!
  5. Il était si mignon, si lardé, si soyeux:
  6. Nous l’aimions! Maintenant qu’il a subi la flamme,
  7. Qu’il est accommodé, qu’il est délicieux;
  8. Nous lui servons de tombe, et nous en mangeons l’âme.
  9. Dans la profonde paix des estomacs gourmands,
  10. Son échine avec sa fressure vont descendre;
  11. Il n’avait pas rêvé, dans ses gras ronflements,
  12. D’un semblable caveau pour contenir sa cendre.
  13. C’est un honneur bien dû. Quel que soit ton regret
  14. Des repas plantureux, du son, de l’auge pleine,
  15. Tu peux t’enorgueillir, ô mon frère, ô goret.
  16. Nous allons te changer, nous, en substance humaine!”

From: George Herman Ellwanger. The Pleasures of the Table: an account of gastronomy from ancient days to present times. New York: Doubleday, Page and Co. (1902).

About the Poet:

M. Pouvoisin is the author credited with this poem by George H. Ellwanger who included it in his book of gastronomical history noted above.

Editor’s Note:

Both the original French version of the poem and an English translation are included in Ellwanger’s book, but he offers no information about either the poem’s original source or the identity of the author other than his name, “M. Pouvoisin.” Ellwanger also lists a translator, “Rev. Joseph A. Ely,” whom he credits with the English version of the poem, but again provides no other information on Ely’s identity.

So it is important to note here that the facts of the existance of this poem currently come only from one secondary source. I have been unable to find any additional copies or mentions of this poem or its author, “M. Pouvoisin,” other than it being in Ellwanger’s The Pleasures of the Table.

Additional information:

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