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.

Submitted: Friday, April 09, 2010

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Comments about this poem (A Cup Of Tea by James Whitcomb Riley )

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  • Connie Yost (5/2/2014 6:23:00 AM)

    Ah, a perfect cup of tea! Our friend Mr. Riley might have thought a tea bag just too handee fer makin' an
    acceptable cup a tea! (Report) Reply

  • Meera Panigrahi (9/15/2012 11:12:00 AM)

    My tea in steam shall twine a
    Fragrant laurel round its rim.

    So many things can be written around a cup of tea! (Report) Reply

Read all 2 comments »

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