Poetic Tea Verses from the 18th Century

Samuel-Johnson-at-Tea

London lexicographer Samuel Johnson, an unapologetic over of tea, kept the kettle on throughout the day and late into the night.  He summed up his preference for someone making tea for him:

“Now hear it then, my Rennie dear,

Nor hear it with a frown;

You cannot make the tea so fast

As I can gulp it down.

I therefore pray thee, Rennie dear,

That thou wilt give to me

With cream and sugar softened well,

Another dish of tea.”

 

Edward Young’s poem, The Love of Fame, the Universal passion, c.1725, indicates how tea bowls were held in the eighteenth century and how elegant tea drinkers could look while lifting the exquisite porcelain to their lips:

“Her two red lips affected Zephyrs blow,

To cool the Bohea, and inflame the Beau;

While one white Finger and a Thumb conspire

To lift the Cup and make the World admire.”

 

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