Sunday, November 11, 2012

Poet's Corner: A Pot of Tea, by Robert Service

A Pot of Tea
 You make it in your mess-tin by the brazier's rosy gleam;
    You watch it cloud, then settle amber clear;
You lift it with your bay'nit, and you sniff the fragrant steam;
    The very breath of it is ripe with cheer.
You're awful cold and dirty, and a-cursin' of your lot;
    You scoff the blushin' 'alf of it, so rich and rippin' 'ot;
It bucks you up like anythink, just seems to touch the spot:
    God bless the man that first discovered Tea!
Since I came out to fight in France, which ain't the other day,
    I think I've drunk enough to float a barge;
All kinds of fancy foreign dope, from caffy and doo lay,
    To rum they serves you out before a charge.
In back rooms of estaminays I've gurgled pints of cham;
    I've swilled down mugs of cider till I've felt a bloomin' dam;

But 'struth! they all ain't in it with the vintage of Assam:
    God bless the man that first invented Tea!
I think them lazy lumps o' gods wot kips on asphodel
    Swigs nectar that's a flavour of Oolong;
I only wish them sons o' guns a-grillin' down in 'ell
    Could 'ave their daily ration of Suchong.
Hurrah! I'm off to battle, which is 'ell and 'eaven too;
    And if I don't give some poor bloke a sexton's job to do,
To-night, by Fritz's campfire, won't I 'ave a gorgeous brew
    (For fightin' mustn't interfere with Tea).
To-night we'll all be tellin' of the Boches that we slew,
    As we drink the giddy victory in Tea.

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