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On Tea

The following short poem by Edmund Waller is believed

to be the first one written in praise of the cup that

does not inebriate:

Venus her myrtle, Phoebus has her bays;

Tea both excels, which she vouchsafes to praise.

The best of Queens, and best of herbs, we owe

To that bold nation, which the way did show

To the fair region where the sun doth rise,

Whose rich productions we so justly prize.

The Muse's friend, tea does our fancy aid,

Repress those vapors which the head invade,

And keep the palace of the soul serene,

Tit on her birthday to salute the Queen.

Waller was born in 1605, and died in 1687, aged eighty-two.