The King’s Breakfast

By A. A. Milne 1882–1956

     The King asked
     The Queen, and
     The Queen asked
     The Dairymaid:
     “Could we have some butter for
     The Royal slice of bread?”
     The Queen asked
     The Dairymaid,
     The Dairymaid
     Said, “Certainly,
     I’ll go and tell
     The cow
     Now
     Before she goes to bed.”
 
     The Dairymaid
     She curtsied,
     And went and told
     The Alderney:
     “Don’t forget the butter for
     The Royal slice of bread.”
 
     The Alderney
     Said sleepily:
     “You’d better tell
     His Majesty
     That many people nowadays
     Like marmalade
     Instead.”
 
     The Dairymaid
     Said, “Fancy!”
     And went to
     Her Majesty.
     She curtsied to the Queen, and
     She turned a little red:
     “Excuse me,
     Your Majesty,
     For taking of
     The liberty,
     But marmalade is tasty, if
     It’s very
     Thickly
     Spread.”
 
     The Queen said
     “Oh!”
     And went to
     His Majesty:
     “Talking of the butter for
     The Royal slice of bread,
     Many people
     Think that
     Marmalade
     Is nicer.
     Would you like to try a little
     Marmalade
     Instead?”

     The King said,
     “Bother!”
     And then he said,
     “Oh, dear me!”
     The King sobbed, “Oh, deary me!”
     And went back to bed.
     “Nobody,”
     He whimpered,
     “Could call me
     A fussy man;
     I only want
     A little bit
     Of butter for
     My bread!”

     The Queen said,
     “There, there!”
     And went to
     The Dairymaid.
     The Dairymaid
     Said, “There, there!”
     And went to the shed.
     The cow said,
     “There, there!
     I didn’t really
     Mean it;
     Here’s milk for his porringer
     And butter for his bread.”
 
     The Queen took
     The butter
     And brought it to
     His Majesty;
     The King said,
     “Butter, eh?”
     And bounced out of bed.
     “Nobody,” he said,
     As he kissed her
     Tenderly,
     “Nobody,” he said,
     As he slid down
     The banisters,
     “Nobody,
     My darling,
     Could call me
     A fussy man—
     BUT
I do like a little bit of butter to my bread!

A. A. Milne, “The King’s Breakfast” from The Complete Poems of Winnie-the-Pooh. Copyright © The Trustees of the Pooh Properties reproduced with permission of Curtis Brown Limited, London.

Source: The Complete Poems of Winnie-the-Pooh (Dutton, 1998)

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Poet A. A. Milne 1882–1956

POET’S REGION England

Subjects Activities, Eating & Drinking, Arts & Sciences, Humor & Satire, Social Commentaries

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

Biography

Poet, writer, playwright, and journalist Alan Alexander Milne was born in London. His father was the headmaster at Henley House School, and Milne studied there under H.G. Wells. He earned a BA in mathematics at Cambridge University before moving to London, where he worked as the assistant editor of the humor magazine Punch for eight years (1906–1914). Milne served as an officer in the British army in World War I, after which he . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Activities, Eating & Drinking, Arts & Sciences, Humor & Satire, Social Commentaries

POET’S REGION England

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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