A poem about tea

Hail, Queen of Plants, Pride of Elysian Bow’rs!
How shall we speak thy complicated Pow’rs?
Thou Won’drous Panacea to asswage
The Calentures of Youths’ fermenting rage,
And Animate the freezing Veins of age.

To Bacchus when our Griefs repair for Ease,
The Remedy proves worse than the Disease.
Where Reason we must lose to keep the Round,
And drinking others Health’s, our own confound:
Whilst TEA, our Sorrows to beguile,
Sobriety and Mirth does reconcile:
For to this Nectar we the Blessing owe,
To grow more Wise, as we more Cheerful grow.

Whilst fancy does her brightest beams dispense,
And decent Wit diverts without Offense.
Then in Discourse of Nature’s mystick Pow’rs
And Noblest Themes, we pass the well spent Hours.
Whilst all around the Virtues’ Sacred Band,
And list’ning Graces, pleas’d Attendants, stand.

Thus our Tea-Conversation we employ,
Where with Delight, Instruction we enjoy;
Quaffing, without the waste of Time or Wealth,
The Sov’reign Drink of Pleasure and of Health.

— Nahum Tate, The Tea-Table, from Panacea : a Poem about Tea (1700)

Nahum est aussi le librettiste du Dido & Aeneas de Purcell.

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