Coffea Arabica

By William Henry Venable

More entrancing than aroma
From the Hindu sacred soma,
Comes a fragrant
Essence vagrant
Floating up
From my quaint Zumpango cup,
Incense rare,
Evanescent steam ascending,
Curling, wavering, fading, blending,
Vanishing in viewless air.
Let me sip and dream and sing
Musing many an idle thing,
Let me sing and dream and sip
Making many an fancied trip
Far away and far away
Over ocean, gulf and bay
To islands whence the spicy wind
Breathes languor on the tropic sea,
To sultry strands of teeming Ind,
To coasts of torrid Araby,
To realms no Boreal breath may chill,
Like rich Brazil,
Or Jabal’s clouded hill on hill,
Or warm Bulgosa’s valley low,
To zones where Summer splendors glow,
Where seasons never come or go,
Where coffee trees perpetual blow.
While I drowse and dream and sip,
Sailing, sailing slides a ship
Over the glittering sea,
Measuring leagues of night and day,
Bearing and bringing to me,
Bringing from far away, away,
The pale green magical berry,
The seed of the virtuous cherry,
The bean of the blossom divine!
Bringing from over the brine,
Bringing from Demarara,
From balsamy San Pará,
Bringing from Trans-Sahara,
From hoard of the Grand Bashaw,
Or redolent chests of Menelek,
An Abyssinian cargo
Richer than freight of Argo,
Treasured in garners under the deck,
Bringing and bearing for me
The gift of the coffee tree!
Better than blood of the Spanish vine,
Or ruddy or amber wine of the Rhine;
Bearing the bean of the blessed tree!
Better than bousa or sake fine,
Or sampan loads of oolong tea,
Souchong, twankay, or bohea,—
Bringing the virtuous bean divine,
The coffee-tree cherry,
The magical berry,
More entrancing than aroma
From the Hindu sacred soma.

This Poem Features In:

Browse Collections By Category

Select from our entire catalogue of poetry collections: