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Conteporary Brokers
History Of Tea
Tea in Early Western Poetry

Several poets brought in tea drinking into their poems. The poet Lord Byron, sighed that he grew pathetic, “moved by the Chinese nymph of tears, green tea.” Shelley (Percy Bysshe Shelley – 1792-1822) mentioned in his ‘Peter Bell’ burlesque description of hall where he says :

“Crammed as they on earth were crammed,
Some sipping punch, some sipping tea,
But as you by their faces see,
All silent and all damned.”


“The Tea”, a poem was published in London in 1819 by an anonymous author. It begins :

Ambrosial Plants! that from the East and West,
Or from the shores of Araby the blest
Those odoriferous sprigs and berries send,
On which our wives and governments depend
Kind land! that gives rich presents, none receives,
And barters for gold, its golden leaves,
Bane of our nerves, and the nerve of our excise
In which a nation’s strength and weakness lies.

The poet John Keats (1795-1821) refers to lovers who “nibble their toast, and cool their tea with sighs”.
A patriotic poem entitled ‘Boston’ read upon the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Tea Party, Dec. 16, 1873, by Ralph Waldo Emerson, the American essayist, and poet begins;

Bad news from George on the English Throne;
“You are thriving well”, said he;
“Now by these presents be it known
you shall pay a tax on tea;
Tis very small, - no load at all, -
However enough that we send the call.”
20 May, 2011

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