Oh, thou most fragrant, aromatic joy, impugned,
abused, and often stormed against,
And yet containing all the blissfulness that in
a tiny cup could be condensed!
Give thy contemners calm, imperial scorn—
For thou wilt reign through ages yet unborn!
Some ancient Arab, so the legend tells, first
found thee—may his memory be blest!
The worldwide sign of brotherhood [...]
Have I had this coffee shop long, Sir, dishing out coffee and tea?
Ever since Big Ben was a wrist watch and the Thames that was as dry as me.
How long have I worn this apron? I won’t tell you a fib.
I’ve had it since I was a baby, round my neck I have worn it [...]
O, boiling, bubbling berry, bean!
Thou consort of the kitchen queen-
Browned and ground of every feature,
The only aromatic creature,
For which we long, for which we feel,
The breath of morn, the perfumed meal.
For what is tea! It can but mean,
Merely the mildest go-between.
Insipid sobriety of thought and mind
Away with opiates! Tantalising snares
To dull the brain with phantoms that are not.
Let no such drugs the subtle senses rot
With visions stealing softly unawares
Into the chambers of the soul. Nightmares
Ride in their wake, the spirits to besot.
Seek surer means to banish haunting cares:
Place on the board the steaming [...]
Voluptuous berry! where may mortals find
Nectars divine that can with thee compare,
When, having dined, we sip thy essence rare,
And feel towards wit and repartee inclined?
Thou wert of sneering, cynical Voltaire*
The only friend; thy power urged Balzac’s mind*
To glorious effort; surely Heaven designed
Thy devotees superior joys to share.
Whene’er I breathe thy fumes, ‘mid Summer stars,