Eat And Walk

James Normal Hall


There's a three-penny lunch on Dover Street
With a cardboard sign in the window: EAT.

Three steps down to the basement room,
Two gas jets in a sea of gloom;

Four-square counter, stove in the center,
Heavy odor of food as you enter;

A kettle of soup as large as a vat,
Potatoes, cabbage, morsels of fat

Bubbling up in a savory smoke-
Food for the gods when the gods are broke.

A wrecked divinity serving it up,
A hunk of bread and a steaming cup;

Three penny each, or two for a nickel;
An extra cent for a relish of pickle.

Slopping it up, no time for the graces-
Why should they care, these men with faces

Gaunt with hunger, battered with weather,
In walking the streets for days together?

No delicate sipping, no leisurely talk-
The rule of the place is Eat and Walk.