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A Cup of Tea
James Whitcomb Riley


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 Lotus-eater dwells!

Though I've reveled o'er late lunches
With blasé 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.


This poem is in the public domain.


James Whitcomb Riley (1849 - 1916) was an American poet best known for his children's poems and dialect-based verses. James was born in Greenfield, Indiana, and later moved to Indianapolis; homes in both cities are preserved and open to the public today. James was hugely popular during his lifetime. A bestselling author who traveled the country speaking to sell-out crowds, he never married or had children of his own, but he loved children and they loved him back. When he died, more than 35,000 people came to pay their respects as James lay in state under the Indiana capitol dome.  




Post New Comment:
As a child, the Hoosier poet was my favorite. I still find myself falling into his rhythms as I create my own poems.
Posted 05/21/2016 06:53 PM
Another American in love with tea:) Enjoyed this immensely...
Posted 05/21/2016 12:50 PM
How I agree! I sit and sip as I write these words,
Posted 05/21/2016 11:11 AM
Indeed. Indeed.
Posted 05/21/2016 10:41 AM
Jean :D:
Some days coffee just doesn't do it. Brew a pot of tea for sheer delight & comfort, always a winner, as is this poem.
Posted 05/21/2016 07:31 AM
What a wonderful poem to wake up to. Just delightful!
Posted 05/21/2016 05:59 AM

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