It took years to find it, but here it is:
Old Fashioned Dinners
-by Edgar A. Guest-
It wasn't too much work for her in days of long ago
To get a dinner ready for a dozen friends or so;
The mother never grumbled at the cooking she must do
Or the dusting or the sweeping, but she seemed to smile it through,
And the times that were happiest, beyond the slightest doubt,
Were when good friends were coming and we stretched the table out.
We never thought, when we were young, to take our friends away
And entertain them at a club or in some swell cafe;
When mother gave a dinner, she would plan it all herself
And feed the people that she liked, the best things on the shelf.
The one job always fell to me, for I was young and stout,
I brought the leaves to father when he stretched the table out.
That good old-fashioned table, I can see it still today
With its curious legs of varnished oak round which I used to play;
It wasn't much to look at, not as stylish or refined
Or as costly or as splendid as the oval, modern kind,
But it always had a welcome for our friends to set about,
And though twenty guests were coming, we could always stretch it out.
I learned it from my mother - it is foolish pride to roam,
The only place to entertain you friends is right at home.
Just let them in by dozens, let them laugh and sing and play
And come to love and know them in the good old-fashioned way;
Home's the place for fun and friendship, home's the place where joy may shout
And if you crowd our dining room, we'll stretch the table out.