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Poem stressing the virtue of not wasting food, and leaving leftover food in good order on the plate produced for the visitor's dining room, Shaker Village.

Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost. - Christ.

Here then is the pattern
Which Jesus has set;
And his good example
We cannot forget:
With thanks for his blessings
His word we’ll obey;
But on this occasion
We’ve somewhat to say.

We wish to speak plainly
And use no deceit;
We like to see fragments
Left wholesome and neat:
To customs and fashions
We make no pretence;
Yet think we can tell
What belongs to good sense.

What we deem good order,
We’re willing to state –
Eat hearty and decent,
And clear out our plate –
Be thankful to Heaven
For what we receive,
And not make a mixture
Or compound to leave.

We find of those bounties
Which heaven doth give,
That some live to eat,
And, that some eat to live –
That some think of nothing
But pleasing the taste,
And care very little
How much they do waste.

Tho’ Heaven has bless’d us
With plenty of food:
Bread, butter and honey
And all that is good;
We lothe to see mixtures
Where gentle folks dine,
Which scarcely look fit
For the poultry or swine

We find often left,
On the same china dish,
Meat, applesauce, pickle,
Brown bread and minc’d fish;
Another’s replenish’d
With butter and cheese;
With pie, cake and toast,
Perhaps, added to these.

Now if any virtue
In this can be shown,
By peasant, by lawyer,
Or king on the throne,
We freely will forfeit
Whatever we’ve said,
And call it a virtue
To waste meat and bread

Let none be offended
At what we here say;
We candidly ask you,
Is that the best way?
If not, - lay such customs
And fashions aside,
And take this monitor
Henceforth for your guide.


Shakers, Poetry


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