OVER MY TEA CUP.
by Charles J. Everett
This homely can of painted tin
Is casket precious in my eyes;
Its withered fragrant leaves within,
Beyond all costly gems I prize.
For for those crumpled leaves of tea,
The sunbeams of long summer days,
The song of bird, the hum of bee,
The cricket's evening hymn of praise,
The gorgeous colors of sunrise,
The joy that greets each new-born day;
The glowing tints of sunset's skies,
The calm that comes with evening grey;
The chatter of contented toil,
The merry laugh of childish glee,
The tonic virtues of the soil,
Were caught and gathered with the tea.
Lifeless those withered leaves may seem,
Locked fast in slumber deep as death,
But soon the Kettle's boiling steam
May rouse to life their fragrant breath.
With sigh of deep content we breath
The sweet mists rising lazily,
With eager, parted lips receive
the first ambrosial taste of tea.
For light and warmth and mood of men,
Whate'er the plant hath heard or seen
Or felt, while fixed in field or fen,
And stored within its depths serene,
Are now transmuted into thrills
Of sense or feeling, echoes faint
From peaceful perfumed tea-cladhills,
From placid Orientals quaint.
And fancies born in other lands,
Which dormant lie in magic tea,
Dream-castles fair not made with hands,
By some mysterious alchemy
Emerge from cloudland into sight,
Transform the sombre working-world,
The gloomy hours of day or night
From leaden hue to tint of gold,
Bring rest to wearied heart and brain,
Kind nature's soul to us reveal,
Enlarge the realm of Fancy's reign,
Renew the power to see and feel
The radiance of the rising sun,
The sunset's glow, the moon's pale light,
The promise of a day begun,
The rest from toil that comes with night.
And as I sip my cup of tea,
Though not a friend may be in sight,
I know that a brave company
Is taking tea with me this night.