James Whitcomb Riley (7 October 1849 - 22 July 1916 / Greenfield, Indiana)
A Cup Of Tea
I have sipped, with drooping lashes,
Dreamy draughts of Verzenay;
I have flourished brandy-smashes
In the wildest sort of way;
I have joked with 'Tom and Jerry'
Till wee hours ayont the twal'--
But I've found my tea the very
Safest tipple of them all!
'Tis a mystical potation
That exceeds in warmth of glow
And divine exhilaration
All the drugs of long ago--
All of old magicians' potions--
Of Medea's filtered spells--
Or of fabled isles and oceans
Where the Lotos-eater dwells!
Though I've reveled o'er late lunches
With _blase_ dramatic stars,
And absorbed their wit and punches
And the fumes of their cigars--
Drank in the latest story,
With a cock-tail either end,--
I have drained a deeper glory
In a cup of tea, my friend.
Green, Black, Moyune, Formosa,
Congou, Amboy, Pingsuey--
No odds the name it knows--ah!
Fill a cup of it for me!
And, as I clink my china
Against your goblet's brim,
My tea in steam shall twine a
Fragrant laurel round its rim.
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