A Cup Of Tea

By 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 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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