The Charge of the Light Bernaise

With apologies to Alfred, Lord Tennyson

by Ross Campbell

HALF a cup, half a cup,
Half a cup of butter,
All in the valley of gourmands
Rode the six chefs.
''Forward, to make the Light Bernaise!
''Charge for the pots!'' he said;
Into the valley of gourmands
Rode the six chefs

''Forward, the Light Bernaise!''
Was there a man dismayed?
Not tho' the chefs knew
Some one had blundered:
Their's not to make reply,
Their's not to reason why,
Their's but to boil, and fry
Into the valley of gourmands
Rode the six chefs.

Tarragon to the right of them,
Tarragon to the left of them,
Tarragon in front of them
Seasoned and simmered;
Stormed at with yoke and shell,
Boldly they cooked and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell
Rode the six chefs.

Flashed all their Sabattiers bare,
Flashed as they turned in air,
Slicing the shallots there,
Cooking a sauce, while
All the world wondered:
Plunged in the oven-smoke
Right through the line they broke;
Cossack and Russian
Reeled from the Sabattier-stroke
Shattered and sundried.
Then they rode back, but not,
Not the six chefs.

Tarragon to the right of them,
Tarragon to the left of them,
Tarragon behind them
Braised and sauted;
Stormed at with yoke and shell,
While whisk and bowel fell,
They that had cooked so well
Came through the jaws of Death
Back from the mouth of Hell,
All that was left of them,
Left of the six cooks.

When can their glory fade?
O the wild sauce they made!
All the world wondered.
Honour the sauce they made!
Honour the Light Bernaise,
Noble six chefs.

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